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      Novel Chlamydiales genotypes identified in ticks from Australian wildlife

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          Abstract

          Background

          Members of the order Chlamydiales are known for their potential as human and veterinary bacterial pathogens. Despite this recognition, epidemiological factors such as routes of transmission are yet to be fully defined. Ticks are well known vectors for many other infections with several reports recently describing the presence of bacteria in the order Chlamydiales in these arthropods. Australian wildlife are hosts to an extensive range of tick species. Evidence is also growing that the marsupial hosts these ticks parasitise can also be infected by a number of bacteria in the order Chlamydiales, with at least one species, Chlamydia pecorum, posing a significant conservation threat. In the current study, we investigated the presence and identity of Chlamydiales in 438 ixodid ticks parasitizing wildlife in Australia by screening with a pan- Chlamydiales specific targeting the 16S rRNA gene.

          Results

          Pan- Chlamydiales specific PCR assays confirmed the common presence of Chlamydiales in Australian ticks parasitising a range of native wildlife. Interestingly, we did not detect any Chlamydiaceae, including C. pecorum, the ubiquitous pathogen of the koala. Instead, the Chlamydiales diversity that could be resolved indicated that Australian ticks carry at least six novel Chlamydiales genotypes. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA sequences (663 bp) of these novel Chlamydiales suggests that three of these genotypes are associated with the Simkaniaceae and putatively belong to three distinct novel strains of Fritschea spp. and three genotypes are related to the “ Ca. Rhabdochlamydiaceae” and putatively belong to a novel genus, Rhabdochlamydia species and strain, respectively.

          Conclusions

          Sequence results suggest Australian wildlife ticks harbour a range of unique Chlamydiales bacteria that belong to families previously identified in a range of arthropod species. The results of this work also suggest that it is unlikely that arthropods act as vectors of pathogenic members of the family Chlamydiaceae, including C. pecorum, in Australian wildlife. The biology of novel Chlamydiales identified in arthropods remain unknown. The pathogenic role of the novel Chlamydiales identified in this study and the role that ticks may play in their transmission needs to be explored further.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13071-017-1994-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 44

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          CLUSTAL W: improving the sensitivity of progressive multiple sequence alignment through sequence weighting, position-specific gap penalties and weight matrix choice

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            Geneious Basic: An integrated and extendable desktop software platform for the organization and analysis of sequence data

            Summary: The two main functions of bioinformatics are the organization and analysis of biological data using computational resources. Geneious Basic has been designed to be an easy-to-use and flexible desktop software application framework for the organization and analysis of biological data, with a focus on molecular sequences and related data types. It integrates numerous industry-standard discovery analysis tools, with interactive visualizations to generate publication-ready images. One key contribution to researchers in the life sciences is the Geneious public application programming interface (API) that affords the ability to leverage the existing framework of the Geneious Basic software platform for virtually unlimited extension and customization. The result is an increase in the speed and quality of development of computation tools for the life sciences, due to the functionality and graphical user interface available to the developer through the public API. Geneious Basic represents an ideal platform for the bioinformatics community to leverage existing components and to integrate their own specific requirements for the discovery, analysis and visualization of biological data. Availability and implementation: Binaries and public API freely available for download at http://www.geneious.com/basic, implemented in Java and supported on Linux, Apple OSX and MS Windows. The software is also available from the Bio-Linux package repository at http://nebc.nerc.ac.uk/news/geneiousonbl. Contact: peter@biomatters.com
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              MRBAYES: Bayesian inference of phylogenetic trees

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Delaney.Burnard@research.usc.edu.au
                Haylee.Weaver@environment.gov.au
                drambergillett@hotmail.com
                jo@endeavourvet.com.au
                clinicaldirector@koalahospital.org.au
                apolking@usc.edu.au
                Journal
                Parasit Vectors
                Parasit Vectors
                Parasites & Vectors
                BioMed Central (London )
                1756-3305
                26 January 2017
                26 January 2017
                2017
                : 10
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 1555 3415, GRID grid.1034.6, Centre for Animal Health Innovation, Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering, , University of the Sunshine Coast, ; Sippy Downs, QLD 4556 Australia
                [2 ]Australian Government, Department of Environment and Energy, Australian Biological Resources Study, GPO Box 787, Canberra, ACT 2601 Australia
                [3 ]Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah, QLD 4519 Australia
                [4 ]Endeavour Veterinary Ecology Pty Ltd, 1695 Pumicestone Rd, Toorbul, QLD 4510 Australia
                [5 ]Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, Roto House Historic Site, Cnr Lord Street and Roto Place, Port Macquarie, 2444 NSW Australia
                Article
                1994
                10.1186/s13071-017-1994-y
                5267465
                28122598
                © The Author(s). 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000923, Australian Research Council;
                Award ID: DP130102066
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Research
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2017

                Parasitology

                chlamydia, chlamydia-like organisms, ticks, marsupials, wildlife, transmission, vector, australia

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