The Distribution and Diversity of Bartonella Species in Rodents and Their Ectoparasites across Thailand
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The Distribution and Diversity of Bartonella Species in Rodents and Their Ectoparasites across Thailand

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      PLoS One
    • Description:
      Our study highlights the surveillance of Bartonella species among rodents and their associated ectoparasites (ticks, fleas, lice, and mites) in several regions across Thailand. A total of 619 rodents and 554 pooled ectoparasites (287 mite pools, 62 flea pools, 35 louse pools, and 170 tick pools) were collected from 8 provinces within 4 regions of Thailand. Bandicota indica (279), Rattus rattus (163), and R. exulans (96) were the most prevalent species of rats collected in this study. Real-time PCR assay targeting Bartonella-specific ssrA gene was used for screening and each positive sample was confirmed by PCR using nuoG gene. The prevalence of Bartonella DNA in rodent (around 17%) was recorded in all regions. The highest prevalence of Bartonella species was found in B. savilei and R. rattus with the rate of 35.7% (5/14) and 32.5% (53/163), respectively. High prevalence of Bartonella-positive rodent was also found in B. indica (15.1%, 42/279), and R. norvegicus (12.5%, 5/40). In contrast, the prevalence of Bartonella species in ectoparasites collected from the rats varied significantly according to types of ectoparasites. A high prevalence of Bartonella DNA was found in louse pools (Polyplax spp. and Hoplopleura spp., 57.1%) and flea pools (Xenopsylla cheopis, 25.8%), while a low prevalence was found in pools of mites (Leptotrombidium spp. and Ascoschoengastia spp., 1.7%) and ticks (Haemaphysalis spp., 3.5%). Prevalence of Bartonella DNA in ectoparasites collected from Bartonella-positive rodents (19.4%) was significantly higher comparing to ectoparasites from Bartonella-negative rodents (8.7%). The phylogenetic analysis of 41 gltA sequences of 16 Bartonella isolates from rodent blood and 25 Bartonella-positive ectoparasites revealed a wide range of diversity among Bartonella species with a majority of sequences (61.0%) belonging to Bartonella elizabethae complex (11 rodents, 1 mite pool, and 5 louse pools), while the remaining sequences were identical to B. phoceensis (17.1%, 1 mite pool, 5 louse pools, and 1 tick pool), B. coopersplainensis (19.5%, 5 rodents, 1 louse pool, and 2 tick pools), and one previously unidentified Bartonella species (2.4%, 1 louse pool).
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