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author:("keysar, Avi")
1.  Rickettsia africae and Candidatus Rickettsia barbariae in Ticks in Israel 
DNA of several spotted fever group rickettsiae was found in ticks in Israel. The findings include evidence for the existence of Rickettsia africae and Candidatus Rickettsia barbariae in ticks in Israel. The DNA of R. africae was detected in a Hyalomma detritum tick from a wild boar and DNA of C. Rickettsia barbariae was detected in Rhipicephalus turanicus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus collected from vegetation. The DNA of Rickettsia massiliae was found in Rh. sanguineus and Haemaphysalis erinacei, whereas DNA of Rickettsia sibirica mongolitimonae was detected in a Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus. Clinicians should be aware that diseases caused by a variety of rickettsiae previously thought to be present only in other countries outside of the Middle East may infect residents of Israel who have not necessarily traveled overseas. Furthermore, this study reveals again that the epidemiology of the spotted fever group rickettsiae may not only involve Rickettsia conorii but may include other rickettsiae.
PMCID: PMC4015588  PMID: 24615133
2.  Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiae in Ticks Collected from Wild Animals in Israel 
We report molecular evidence for the presence of spotted fever group rickettsiae (SFGR) in ticks collected from roe deer, addax, red foxes, and wild boars in Israel. Rickettsia aeschlimannii was detected in Hyalomma marginatum and Hyalomma detritum while Rickettsia massiliae was present in Rhipicephalus turanicus ticks. Furthermore, a novel uncultured SFGR was detected in Haemaphysalis adleri and Haemaphysalis parva ticks from golden jackals. The pathogenicity of the novel SFGR for humans is unknown; however, the presence of multiple SFGR agents should be considered when serological surveillance data from Israel are interpreted because of significant antigenic cross-reactivity among Rickettsia. The epidemiology and ecology of SFGR in Israel appear to be more complicated than was previously believed.
PMCID: PMC3205642  PMID: 22049050
3.  Genetic and Antigenic Diversities of Major Immunoreactive Proteins in Globally Distributed Ehrlichia canis Strains▿  
The extent of knowledge regarding the diversity of globally distributed Ehrlichia canis strains has been limited to information gained from a few evolutionarily conserved genes. In this study, E. canis strains from the United States (strain Jake [US]), Brazil (strain São Paulo [BR]), and Israel (strain 611 [IS] and Ranana [IS-R]) were used to examine the antigenic and genetic diversities of four well-characterized major immunoreactive protein genes/proteins. gp36 and gp200 were the most divergent genes, and nucleotide substitutions in the gp36 tandem repeat region of the IS strain, but not the IS-R strain, resulted in two amino acid differences (S→P and P→T) in each nine-amino-acid repeat (epitope-containing region). DNA sequences of gp19 and gp140 were completely conserved in the US and BR strains, but differences were found in the Israeli strains, including two fewer tandem repeats in gp140 and a single amino acid substitution in gp19 from the IS strain. E. canis whole-cell lysates from each isolate were examined by Western immunoblotting using sera from naturally infected dogs from each country, and four major immunoreactive proteins (gp19, gp36, gp140, and gp200) were identified in each strain using protein-specific antisera. The US and BR strains exhibited highly conserved immunoreactive protein profiles, while some differences were identified in the IS strain. Sera from naturally infected Israeli dogs confirmed gene sequencing information, which demonstrated two distinct E. canis strains, defined by the gp36 gene. Conversely, gp19 was strongly reactive and present in all E. canis isolates. gp140 and gp200 were also present in all strains, although gp140 in the IS strain had two fewer tandem repeats and exhibited a smaller mass.
PMCID: PMC2446643  PMID: 18480237
4.  Fatal Rickettsia conorii subsp. israelensis Infection, Israel 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2008;14(5):821-824.
Fatal Rickettsia conorii subsp. israelensis Infection, Israel
Underdiagnosis of fatal spotted fever may be attributed to nonspecific clinical features and insensitive acute-phase serologic studies. We describe the importance of molecular and immunohistochemical methods in establishing the postmortem diagnosis of locally acquired Israeli spotted fever due to Rickettsia conorii subsp. israelensis in a traveler returning to Israel from India.
PMCID: PMC2600240  PMID: 18439372
PCR; Israel; epidemiology; Rickettsia infections; Rickettsia conorii; genetics; pathogenicity; travel; dispatch
5.  Molecular Evidence for Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Israel 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2007;13(9):1411-1412.
Sequences from the Anaplasma phagocytophilum 16S rRNA gene were detected in 5 ticks representing 3 species (Hyalomma marginatum, Rhipicephalus turanicus, and Boophilus kohlsi) collected from roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in Mount Carmel, Israel. The sequences were all identical to those of Ap-variant 1 strain.
PMCID: PMC2857299  PMID: 18252125
Anaplasma phagocytophilum; ticks; Israel; dispatch

Results 1-5 (5)