Identification of Bartonella species in rodents, shrews and cats in Denmark: detection of two B. henselae variants, one in cats and the other in the long-tailed field mouse

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Abstract:

Engbæk K, Lawson PA. Identification of Bartonella species in rodents, shrews and cats in Denmark: detection of two B. henselae variants, one in cats and the other in the long-tailed field mouse. APMIS 2004;112:336–41.

Small mammals and stray cats were trapped in two areas of North Zealand, Denmark, and their blood cultured for hemotrophic bacteria. Bacterial isolates were recovered in pure culture and subjected to 16S rDNA gene sequencing. Bartonella species were isolated from five mammalian species: B. grahamii from Microtus agrestis (field vole) and Apodemus flavicollis (yellow-necked field mouse); B. taylorii from M. agrestis, A. flavicollis and A. sylvaticus (long-tailed field mouse); B. tribocorum from A. flavicollis; B. vinsonii subsp. vinsonii from M. agrestis and A. sylvaticus; and B. birtlesii from Sorex vulgaris (common shrew). In addition, two variant types of B. henselae were identified: variant I was recovered from three specimens of A. sylvaticus, and B. henselae variant II from 11 cats; in each case this was the only B. henselae variant found. No Bartonella species was isolated from Clethrionomys glareolus (bank vole) or Micromys minutus (harvest mouse). These results suggest that B. henselae occurs in two animal reservoirs in this region, one of variant I in A. sylvaticus, which may be transmitted between mice by the tick Ixodes ricinus, and another of variant II in cats, which may be transmitted by the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis). To our knowledge, this is the first report of the occurrence of B. henselae and B. tribocorum in Apodemus mice.

Keywords: 16S rDNA; Bartonella spp; small mammals

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0463.2004.apm1120603.x

Affiliations: Department of Clinical Microbiology, Herlev University Hospital, Herlev, Denmark

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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