Rickettsial infection in ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) from reptiles in the Colombian Caribbean

Adriana Santodomingo, Andrea Cotes-Perdomo, Janet Foley, Lyda R. Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Although more reptiles are illegally traded in Colombia than any other group of animals, for both local and international markets, little is known about ticks associated with reptiles or pathogens associated with these ticks. In this study, ticks were collected from reptiles in Magdalena, Cesar and La Guajira regions in northern Colombia, and identified morphologically using taxonomic keys and molecularly by sequencing of the COI gene. In addition, Rickettsia spp. were detected by PCR amplifying the gltA, 16S rRNA, and sca1 genes. Ticks were identified as Amblyomma dissimile, representing the first record for this species in 17 of the 26 species of reptiles sampled. Additionally, our data expand the distribution range for this tick in Colombia. Rickettsia spp. DNA was detected in 18 ticks (3.6%) from 16 reptiles. Sequence analyses indicated that most of the Rickettsia were members of the R. monacensis clade, most closely related to Rickettsia sp. strain Colombianensi. We detected one tick infected with a Rickettsia with 99% identity to R. bellii.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-628
Number of pages6
JournalTicks and Tick-borne Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Amblyomma dissimile
  • Colombia
  • Ectoparasite
  • Hosts
  • Rickettsia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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