Title

Molecular Strain Typing of the Tick-Borne Pathogen Rickettsia parkeri

Description/Abstract

Rickettsia parkeri is one of a group of bacteria that cause Spotted Fever Group Rickettsioses (SFGR) in humans. Spotted Fever Group Rickettsioses can cause fever, headaches, rashes, muscle aches, and an eschar and some, such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (R. rickettsii) can be fatal. R. parkeri, which is transmitted to humans by the Gulf Coast Tick (Amblyomma maculatum), causes a milder SFGR. In its historic range along the US Gulf Coast and the southeastern US, R. parkeri has prevalence of 1-15% in A. maculatum. However, in the Tidewater region of Virginia, where A. maculatum is a recent invader, prevalence reaches 50-60%. One hypothesis for this disparity is that there are different strains of R. parkeri present in these separate areas. Previous studies have not been able to demonstrate strain variation in R. parkeri; however, most of these studies have only performed typing at single genes. In this work, we aim to identify additional genetic markers for strain typing of R. parkeri. To accomplish this goal, we performed comparative genomics on four complete R. parkeri genomes, locating variable regions between strains. This analysis yielded four viable primer sets for the strain typing of R. parkeri: dks-xerC, ubiD-poly3, autoH, and fol-hypo. These primer sets were then tested upon a group of A. maculatum found to be positive for R. parkeri, and the subsequent results make up a trainer set. Additionally, the primer sets were tested upon seven strains of R. parkeri given to us by the CDC.

Presenting Author Name/s

Rebecca Ferrara

Faculty Advisor

David Gauthier

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Disciplines

Bioinformatics | Biology | Genetics and Genomics

Session Title

College of Sciences 2

Location

Learning Commons @ Perry Library Conference Room 1310

Start Date

2-8-2020 10:15 AM

End Date

2-2020 11:15 AM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Feb 8th, 10:15 AM Feb 1st, 11:15 AM

Molecular Strain Typing of the Tick-Borne Pathogen Rickettsia parkeri

Learning Commons @ Perry Library Conference Room 1310

Rickettsia parkeri is one of a group of bacteria that cause Spotted Fever Group Rickettsioses (SFGR) in humans. Spotted Fever Group Rickettsioses can cause fever, headaches, rashes, muscle aches, and an eschar and some, such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (R. rickettsii) can be fatal. R. parkeri, which is transmitted to humans by the Gulf Coast Tick (Amblyomma maculatum), causes a milder SFGR. In its historic range along the US Gulf Coast and the southeastern US, R. parkeri has prevalence of 1-15% in A. maculatum. However, in the Tidewater region of Virginia, where A. maculatum is a recent invader, prevalence reaches 50-60%. One hypothesis for this disparity is that there are different strains of R. parkeri present in these separate areas. Previous studies have not been able to demonstrate strain variation in R. parkeri; however, most of these studies have only performed typing at single genes. In this work, we aim to identify additional genetic markers for strain typing of R. parkeri. To accomplish this goal, we performed comparative genomics on four complete R. parkeri genomes, locating variable regions between strains. This analysis yielded four viable primer sets for the strain typing of R. parkeri: dks-xerC, ubiD-poly3, autoH, and fol-hypo. These primer sets were then tested upon a group of A. maculatum found to be positive for R. parkeri, and the subsequent results make up a trainer set. Additionally, the primer sets were tested upon seven strains of R. parkeri given to us by the CDC.