Multispacer Sequence Typing of Coxiella Burnetii From Milk and Hard Tick Samples from Ruminant Farms in Lebanon

This study was carried out to detect and characterize Coxiella burnetii in ruminant milk samples and in different tick species from seropositive farms in four Lebanese regions. Milk and tick samples were screened for C. burnetii presence by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) targeting the IS1111 region followed by multi-spacer sequence typing (MST). The overall positive percentages of 9.6% (27/282) and 95.45% (84/88) for C. burnetii were recorded in ruminant milk and tick samples, respectively. In detail, the C. burnetii DNA was recorded in 52/54 (96.3%) of Rhipicephalus annulatus, 20/21 (95.24%) of Rhipicephalus turanicus, 6/6 (100%) of Hyalomma anatolicum, 5/6 (83.3%) of Rhipicephalus sanguineus, and 1/1 of Rhipicephalus bursa. After genotyping of some IS1111-positive samples (17/111), different MST genotypes were identified. Out of 15 positive ticks, 10 were infected with MST2 genotype, 4 were infected with MST7 genotype and 1 was infected with MST57. Moreover, genotypes MST20 and MST58 were found in one cow and one goat milk sample, respectively. The present study confirmed the high genetic diversity of C. burnetii in Lebanon.

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