Identification of diverse Bartonella genotypes among small mammals from Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania

Vijay A K B Gundi, Michael Y Kosoy, Rhodes H Makundi, Anne Laudisoit
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2012, 87 (2): 319-26
Small mammals from the Democratic Republic (DR) of the Congo and Tanzania were tested to determine the prevalence and genetic diversity of Bartonella species. The presence of Bartonella DNA was assessed in spleen samples of the animals by rpoB- and gltA-polymerase chain reactions (PCRs). By rpoB-PCR, Bartonella was detected in 8 of 59 animals of DR Congo and in 16 of 39 Tanzanian animals. By gltA-PCR, Bartonella was detected in 5 and 15 animals of DR Congo and Tanzania, respectively. The gene sequences from Arvicanthis neumanni were closely related to Bartonella elizabethae. The genotypes from Lophuromys spp. and from Praomys delectorum were close to Bartonella tribocorum. Five genogroups were not genetically related to any known Bartonella species. These results suggest the need to conduct further studies to establish the zoonotic risks linked with those Bartonella species and, in particular, to verify whether these agents might be responsible for human cases of febrile illness of unknown etiology in Africa.

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