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Rickettsia philipii 364D: Microbiome, Ecology and Potential Risk to Public Health

Presented by:  Nikos Gurfield, D.V.M., D.A.C.V.P., Adjunct Professor of Pathology,
UC San Diego County Veterinarian, San Diego County Vector Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory

A new rickettsial disease was described in California in 2010 which caused swelling, erythema and ulceration at the site of a presumed tick bite. Biopsy of the affected skin revealed the genetic material of a rickettsia closely related to Rickettsia rickettsii, an organism called Rickettsia philipii 364D, that was first detected in Ventura County, CA, in 1966. 

Four additional pediatric cases of 364D-induced disease were subsequently described and additional cases in California reported.

In order to assess the potential risk of 364D to public health in San Diego County, the San Diego County Vector Control Program/Vector Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory conducted a study to determine if 364D was present in Dermacentor occidentalis ticks in San Diego County. 

Furthermore, the microbiome of ticks with and without 364D organisms was explored to determine if the microbial diversity within ticks affects the ability of D. occidentalis to harbor 364D. The preliminary results of this study will be presented in this talk.

This and all other lectures in the Seminar Series will be held at the Beckman Center Meeting Room, (next to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido) at 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Address to the Beckman Center:
15600 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, California 92027


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