Simple method to differentiate among Rickettsia species

Gaspar Peniche-Lara, Jorge Zavala-Velazquez, Karla Dzul-Rosado, D. H. Walker, Jorge Zavala-Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this work we present a new option to identify 11 rickettsial species that cause human rickettsioses, with some advantages over the previous methods described. Using rickettsial isolates from 11 Rickettsia species as a sample, we used the polymerase chain reaction to amplify a 990- to 1,000-bp DNA fragment from the ompB gene, common for the 11 Rickettsia species analyzed in this study, which were digested with AluI restriction enzyme to obtain different digestion patterns. This restriction pattern can be visualized using a polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis technique. Using this method we could differentiate between the 11 Rickettsia species analyzed regardless of the group to which the Rickettsia belonged. We developed a simple method to identify 11 Rickettsia species which cause human rickettsioses using polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism techniques with the advantage that it only needs one amplicon and only one restriction enzyme to obtain the restriction pattern. The identification of the species infecting vectors, reservoirs, and humans is essential to establish the ecological and behavioral ecosystem involved in its maintenance and transmission in nature in the specific region where the pathogen is circulating. This method is very helpful to identify Rickettsia species in a short time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-208
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Restriction fragment length polymorphism
  • Rickettsia
  • Rickettsia infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology


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