AbstractTo better understand the contribution of Rickettsia spp. to prevalent flea-borne diseases in Kazakhstan, we evaluated fleas collected in the Almaty Oblast of southeastern Kazakhstan for the presence of rickettsiae by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). We found that fleas captured from Kazakhstan’s common Great Gerbil (Rhombomys opimus) and corresponding burrows were infected with rickettsiae. The most commonly found rickettsia-infected flea species was Xenopsylla gerbilli, and the most commonly found rickettsia was Candidatus R. asemboensis. Further studies may include testing these and other fleas samples for the presence of additional disease agents, including Bartonella spp. and Yersinia pestis.
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