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      Comparison of different media for preservation and transport of viable rickettsiae

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          Rickettsiae tend to have a rapid decrease of viability outside living cells. Therefore, the transport of samples containing viable rickettsiae for culturing in cell culture for diagnostic purposes is challenging.

          The viability of rickettsiae in different transport media (commercially available transport medium COPAN “UTM-RT transport medium for viruses, chlamydia, mycoplasma, and ureaplasma,” minimal essential medium (MEM) with and without 10% foetal calf serum) at various time points at 4 °C and at ambient temperature (22 °C) was compared. Rickettsia honei was used as model organism.

          After 2 weeks of storage at room temperature, no viable rickettsiae were detectable any more while storage at 4 °C kept rickettsiae viable for up to 4 weeks. The commercially available COPAN medium showed similarly good or slightly better stabilizing effects on rickettsiae compared with MEM + 10% foetal calf serum, pure MEM demonstrated the poorest results.

          It is important to transport and store media with potentially rickettsiae-containing samples at 4 °C to prevent inactivation. MEM + 10% foetal calf serum can be used if no commercial medium is available with similarly good results.

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          Most cited references7

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          Laboratory diagnosis of rickettsioses: current approaches to diagnosis of old and new rickettsial diseases.

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            Rickettsia honei sp. nov., the aetiological agent of Flinders Island spotted fever in Australia.

            The name Rickettsia honei, strain RBT, has been proposed for a unique spotted fever group (SFG) agent which is pathogenic for humans. This agent has previously been compared to the other SFG agents and was shown to be distinct in protein structure by SDS-PAGE and by immunoblotting. Genetic comparisons of the 16S rRNA, rompA, gltA and the 17 kDa antigen genes with the other SFG rickettsiae confirmed the phylogenetic distance between R. honei and the previously described species. Genetically, Rickettsia honei is more closely related to the Thai tick typhus (TT-118) rickettsia than to any other member of the SFG. Indeed, it is proposed that TT-118 is a strain of R. honei which was previously isolated in Thailand. These results elucidate the presence of a unique SFG rickettsial species in Australasia.
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              Rickettsia spp. in Ixodes ricinus ticks in Bavaria, Germany.

              This study aims to provide information on the occurrence of spotted fever rickettsiae in Ixodes ricinus ticks in southern Germany. A total of 2,141 I. ricinus ticks was collected in Bavaria. Pools of 5-10 ticks were studied by a PCR targeting the rickettsial citrate synthase gene gltA. The average prevalence rate was 12% (257 of 2,141). Sequencing data exclusively identified Rickettsia helvetica DNA. Results and other data demonstrate the possible role of R. helvetica in I. ricinus as a source of human infections in southern Germany.

                Author and article information

                European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
                Akadémiai Kiadó, co-published with Springer Science+Business Media B.V., Formerly Kluwer Academic Publishers B.V.
                1 September 2013
                : 3
                : 3
                : 194-197
                [ 1 ] Department of Tropical Medicine at the Bernhard Nocht Institute, German Armed Forces Hospital of Hamburg, Bernhard Nocht street 74, D-20359, Hamburg, Germany
                [ 2 ] Institute for Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene, University Hospital Rostock, Rostock, Germany
                [ 3 ] Institute for Microbiology of the German Armed Forces, Munich, Germany
                Author notes
                [* ] 0049-40-6947-28743, 0049-40-6947-28709, Frickmann@ 123456bni-hamburg.de
                Original Article

                Medicine,Immunology,Health & Social care,Microbiology & Virology,Infectious disease & Microbiology
                preservation,diagnostic,transport medium,cell culture,rickettsia


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