General Information: This strain was isolated from mites in Hartford. Causative agent of Rickettsialpox. Members of this genus, like other Rickettsial organisms such as Neorickettsia and Anaplasma, are obligate intracellular pathogens. In both groups, the bacteria are transmitted via an insect, usually a tick, to a host organism where they target endothelial cells and sometimes macrophages. They attach via an adhesin, rickettsial outer membrane protein A, and are internalized where they persist as cytoplasmically free organisms. Rickettsia akari causes a mild disease, Rickettsialpox, which is an acute fever-inducing illness transmitted by a hematophagous mite that infects the common house mouse and bites humans. Infection by this organism may be confused with anthrax due to the black eschar. This bacterium is a member of the spotted fever group of Rickettsiales and is endemic to New York, USA, but is also found in other cities in the USA, Russia, South Korea, and South Africa.