Query: NC_009883:343067 Rickettsia bellii OSU 85-389, complete genome Lineage: Rickettsia bellii; Rickettsia; Rickettsiaceae; Rickettsiales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: Transmitted via American ticks. This organism represents the third group of Rickettsial species and is separate from the spotted fever group and the typhus group. This organism is transovarially transmitted in American ticks and shows the largest range of host organisms including Dermacentor and Amblyomma.
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General Information: Causative agent for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. This organism was first identified by Dr. Howard Rickets as the causative agent of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which was originally named for its geographic distribution at the time, it is now known to be widespread throughout the North American continent. This bacterium is an obligate intracellular pathogen that infects primarily the vascular endothelium, and occasionally smooth muscle tissue. It is passed to the human host from a tick bite, and the tick acts as both a natural reservoir and a vector for disease transmission. Once the organism is endocytosed by the host cell, it quickly escapes the phagozome, and replicates intracellularly, causing cell death and tissue damage. The disease is characterized by a spotted rash and has a high mortality rate if left untreated.