Query: NC_017058:497500 Rickettsia australis str. Cutlack chromosome, complete genome Lineage: Rickettsia australis; Rickettsia; Rickettsiaceae; Rickettsiales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: Animal pathogen in Mammalia (intracellular obligate). Rickettsiae are obligate intracellular Gram-negative bacteria mostly found in arthropods, some of which cause mild to severe diseases in humans. Rickettsia australis causes a medical condition called Queensland tick typhus. The probable vectors are the tick species, Ixodes holocyclus and Ixodes tasmani. Small marsupials are suspected reservoirs of this bacterium.
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General Information: This strain was isolated from a case of relapsing fever in western Washington, USA. Borrelia hermsii is the causative agent of tick-borne relapsing fever in the western United States and Canada. Borrelia then multiplies rapidly, causing a generalized infection throughout the tick. While feeding, the tick passes the organism into a mammalian host through its infectious saliva. Relapsing fever is characterized by a period of chills, fever, headache, and malaise, an asymptomatic period, followed by another episode of symptoms. This cycle of relapsing is due to changes in the surface proteins of Borrelia, which allow it to avoid detection and removal by the host immune system. This antigenic variation is the result of homologous recombination of silent proteins into an expressed locus, causing partial or complete replacement of one serotype with another. These plasmids carry genes involved in antigenic variation and pathogenicity.