Prevalence of zoonotic Bartonella species among rodents and shrews in Thailand

Decha Pangjai, Soichi Maruyama, Sumalee Boonmar, Hidenori Kabeya, Shingo Sato, Burin Nimsuphan, Wimol Petkanchanapong, Wattanapong Wootta, Piyada Wangroongsarb, Maskiet Boonyareth, Poom Preedakoon, Watcharee Saisongkorh, Pathom Sawanpanyalert
Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 2014, 37 (2): 109-14
We investigated the prevalence of Bartonella species in 10 rodent and one shrew species in Thailand. From February 2008 to May 2010, a total of 375 small animals were captured in 9 provinces in Thailand. Bartonella strains were isolated from 57 rodents (54 from Rattus species and 3 from Bandicota indica) and one shrew (Suncus murinus) in 7 of the 9 provinces, and identified to the species level. Sequence analysis of the citrate synthase and RNA polymerase β subunit genes identified the 58 isolates from each Bartonella-positive animal as B. tribocorum in 27 (46.6%) animals, B. rattimassiliensis in 17 (29.3%) animals, B. elizabethae in 10 (17.2%) animals and B. queenslandensis in 4 (6.9%) animals. R. norvegicus, R. rattus, and Suncus murinus carried B. elizabethae, which causes endocarditis in humans. The prevalence of Bartonella bacteremic animals by province was 42.9% of the animals collected in Phang Nga, 26.8% in Chiang Rai, 20.4% in Sa Kaeo, 16.7% in Nakhon Si Thammarat, 12.0% in Surat Thani, 9.1% in Mae Hong Son and Loei Provinces. These results indicate that Bartonella organisms are widely distributed in small mammals in Thailand and some animal species may serve as important reservoirs of zoonotic Bartonella species in the country.

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