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Detection of Potential Zoonotic Bartonella Species in African Giant Rats (Cricetomys gambianus) and Fleas from an Urban Area in Senegal

Abstract : Bartonellae are bacteria associated with mammals and their ectoparasites. Rodents often host different species of Bartonella. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of Bartonella spp. in African giant pouched rats (Cricetomys gambianus) and their ectoparasites in Dakar, Senegal. In 2012, 20 rats were caught, and their fleas were identified. DNA was extracted from 170 selected fleas and qPCR was carried out to detect Bartonella spp. Subsequently, a Bartonella culture was performed from the rat blood samples and the isolated strains (16S rRNA, rpoB, ftsZ and ITS3) were genotyped. A total of 1117 fleas were collected from 19 rats and identified as Xenopsylla cheopis, the tropical rat flea. Bartonella DNA was detected in 148 of 170 selected fleas (87.1%). In addition, Bartonella strains were isolated from the blood of 17 rats (85%). According to Bartonella gene-sequence-based criteria for species definition, the isolated strains were identified as B. massiliensis (four strains) and two potential new species related to the zoonotic B. elizabethae. In this paper, these potentially new species are provisionally called Candidatus Bartonella militaris (11 strains) and Candidatus Bartonella affinis (two strains) until their description has been completed. Cricetomys gambianus and its fleas could constitute a public health risk in Dakar due to the high prevalence of Bartonella infection reported.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 2:29:09 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 3:47:51 AM

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Jean-Paul Demoncheaux, Hacene Medkour, Meriem Louni, Laurie Laugier, Christelle Pasqualini, et al.. Detection of Potential Zoonotic Bartonella Species in African Giant Rats (Cricetomys gambianus) and Fleas from an Urban Area in Senegal. Microorganisms, MDPI, 2022, 10 (3), pp.489. ⟨10.3390/microorganisms10030489⟩. ⟨hal-03663822⟩

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