Molecular detection and genetic characterization of Bartonella species from rodents and their associated ectoparasites from northern Tanzania

Autoři: Ndyetabura O. Theonest aff001;  Ryan W. Carter aff003;  Nelson Amani aff002;  Siân L. Doherty aff003;  Ephrasia Hugho aff002;  Julius D. Keyyu aff004;  Barbara K. Mable aff003;  Gabriel M. Shirima aff001;  Rigobert Tarimo aff001;  Kate M. Thomas aff002;  Daniel T. Haydon aff003;  Joram J. Buza aff001;  Kathryn J. Allan aff003;  Jo E. B. Halliday aff003
Působiště autorů: School of Life Sciences and Bioengineering, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania aff001;  Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute, Moshi, Tanzania aff002;  The Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health, Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom aff003;  Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Arusha, Tanzania aff004;  Centre for International Health, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand aff005
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article



Bartonellae are intracellular bacteria, which can cause persistent bacteraemia in humans and a variety of animals. Several rodent-associated Bartonella species are human pathogens but data on their global distribution and epidemiology are limited. The aims of the study were to: 1) determine the prevalence of Bartonella infection in rodents and fleas; 2) identify risk factors for Bartonella infection in rodents; and 3) characterize the Bartonella genotypes present in these rodent and flea populations.

Methods and results

Spleen samples collected from 381 rodents representing six different species were tested for the presence of Bartonella DNA, which was detected in 57 individuals (15.0%; 95% CI 11.3–18.5), of three rodent species (Rattus rattus n = 54, Mastomys natalensis n = 2 and Paraxerus flavovottis n = 1) using a qPCR targeting the ssrA gene. Considering R. rattus individuals only, risk factor analysis indicated that Bartonella infection was more likely in reproductively mature as compared to immature individuals (OR = 3.42, p <0.001). Bartonella DNA was also detected in 53 of 193 Xenopsylla cheopis fleas (27.5%: 95% CI 21.3–34.3) collected from R.rattus individuals. Analysis of ssrA and gltA sequences from rodent spleens and ssrA sequences from fleas identified multiple genotypes closely related (≥ 97% similar) to several known or suspected zoonotic Bartonella species, including B. tribocorum, B. rochalimae, B. elizabethae and B. quintana.


The ssrA and gltA sequences obtained from rodent spleens and ssrA sequences obtained from fleas reveal the presence of a diverse set of Bartonella genotypes and increase our understanding of the bartonellae present in Tanzanian. Further studies are needed to fully characterise the prevalence, genotypes and diversity of Bartonella in different host populations and their potential impacts on human health.

Klíčová slova:

Bartonella – DNA extraction – Polymerase chain reaction – Rodents – Sequence analysis – Spleen – Tanzania – Fleas


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