General Information: This organism was isolated from a cattle tick, Amblyomma variegatum, collected in Ethiopia. This organism, a member of the spotted fever group of the Rickettsiales, is found in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. Rickettsia africae causes a flu-like illness, characterized by a mild fever and severe headache, without the skin rash common to other spotted fever group Rickettsia species. 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.