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Detection of Rickettsia spp in Ticks by MALDI-TOF MS

Abstract : Background Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has been shown to be an effective tool for the rapid identification of arthropods, including tick vectors of human diseases. Methodology/Principal Findings The objective of the present study was to evaluate the use of MALDI-TOF MS to identify tick species, and to determine the presence of rickettsia pathogens in the infected Ticks. Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Dermacentor marginatus Ticks infected or not by R. conorii conorii or R. slovaca, respectively, were used as experimental models. The MS profiles generated from protein extracts prepared from tick legs exhibited mass peaks that distinguished the infected and uninfected Ticks, and successfully discriminated the Rickettsia spp. A blind test was performed using Ticks that were laboratory-reared, collected in the field or removed from patients and infected or not by Rickettsia spp. A query against our in-lab arthropod MS reference database revealed that the species and infection status of all Ticks were correctly identified at the species and infection status levels. Conclusions/Significance Taken together, the present work demonstrates the utility of MALDI-TOF MS for a dual identification of tick species and intracellular bacteria. Therefore, MALDI-TOF MS is a relevant tool for the accurate detection of Rickettsia spp in Ticks for both field monitoring and entomological diagnosis. The present work offers new perspectives for the monitoring of other vector borne diseases that present public health concerns.
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 12:12:04 PM
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Amina Yssouf, Lionel Almeras, Jérôme Terras, Cristina Socolovschi, Didier Raoult, et al.. Detection of Rickettsia spp in Ticks by MALDI-TOF MS. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Public Library of Science, 2015, 9 (e0003473), ⟨10.1371/journal.pntd.0003473⟩. ⟨hal-01227937⟩

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