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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Molecular detection of Bartonella in fleas (Hexapoda, Siphonaptera) collected from wild rodents (Cricetidae, Sigmodontinae) from Argentina

G Cicuttin, M N De Salvo, J Sanchez, C Cañón, M Lareschi
Medical and Veterinary Entomology 2019 March 12
30861575
Bartonella are facultative intracellular Gram-negative bacteria, transmitted mainly by hematophagous arthropods, and the rodents act as a natural reservoir. Different species of Bartonella associated with rodents have been implicated as causing human disease. Studies from Argentina are scarce and no Bartonella from fleas have been reported previously. The present study investigated the presence of Bartonella spp. in fleas associated with sigmodontine rodents in four localities of the Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. In total, 51 fleas (four species) were analysed of which 41.2% were found to be positive for the gltA gene fragment via a nested polymerase chain reaction. All positive fleas were of the species Neotyphloceras crackensis from three different localities. Eight of the 21 amplified samples were sequenced, and the presence of three different genotypes was detected with an identity of 95.5-98.8% amongst themselves. Bartonella genotypes from American rodents and rodent fleas were recovered in a monophyletic group. Similarly, most of the Peruvian and all Argentinean variants constitute a natural group sister of the American remainder. The importance of the Bartonella spp. with respect to public health is unknown, although future studies could provide evidence of the possible involvement of N. crackensis in the Bartonella transmission cycles.

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