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Prevalence and Diversity of Bartonella Species in Rodents from Georgia (Caucasus)
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    27162268
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC4973202
  • Description:
    Bartonella infections are widespread and highly prevalent in rodents. Several rodent-associated Bartonella species have been related to human diseases. Recently, Bartonella species was reported as the etiology of a human case in the country of Georgia (Caucasus). However, information on Bartonella in rodents in Georgia is absent. Rodent hearts were collected from Georgia to investigate the presence and diversity of Bartonella species. Bartonella bacteria were cultured from 37.2% (16/43) of rodents examined, while Bartonella DNA was detected in 41.2% (28/68) of rodents by polymerase chain reaction targeting citrate synthase (gltA) gene. Sequences of gltA showed that rodents in this region harbored multiple Bartonella strains, including Bartonella elizabethae, Bartonella tribocorum, Bartonella grahamii, and an unknown genogroup. The first three Bartonella species, known to be rat-associated and human cases linked, were commonly observed in wood mice (Apodemus [Sylvaemus] uralensis) (5/8 positive with B. elizabethae and B. tribocorum) and social voles (Microtus socialis) (4/6 positive with B. grahamii and B. elizabethae) in this study. The frequent distribution of these Bartonella species suggests that they may contribute to unidentified clinical infections. The unknown genogroup was observed in 24 Bartonella isolates and/or DNA extracts from heart tissues, all of which were obtained from Libyan jirds (Meriones libycus). Further characterization of the bacterial cultures based on sequence analysis of four additional genes (ftsZ, nuoG, rpoB, and ssrA) supported that the jird-associated Bartonella strains comprise a distinct monophyletic clade. The impact of this bacterium on wildlife and human health needs to be determined.

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