Coyotes (Canis latrans) as the reservoir for a human pathogenic Bartonella sp.: Molecular epidemiology of Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii infection in coyotes from Central Coastal California

Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology (Impact Factor: 3.99). 12/2000; 38(11):4193-200.
Source: PubMed


Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii was originally isolated from a dog suffering infectious endocarditis and was recently identified as a zoonotic agent causing human endocarditis. Following the coyote bite of a child who developed clinical signs compatible with Bartonella infection in Santa Clara County, Calif., this epidemiological study was conducted. Among 109 coyotes (Canis latrans) from central coastal California, 31 animals (28%) were found to be bacteremic with B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii and 83 animals (76%) had B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii antibodies. These findings suggest these animals could be the wildlife reservoir of B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii. PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis of the gltA and 16S rRNA genes for these 31 isolates yielded similar profiles that were identical to those of B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii. Partial sequencing of the gltA and 16S rRNA genes, respectively, indicated 99.5 and 100% homology between the coyote isolate and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii (ATCC 51672). PCR-RFLP analysis of the 16S-23S intergenic spacer region showed the existence of two different strain profiles, as has been reported in dogs. Six (19%) of 31 Bartonella bacteremic coyotes exhibited the strain profile that was identified in the type strain of a canine endocarditis case (B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii ATCC 51672). The other 25 bacteremic coyotes were infected with a strain that was similar to the strains isolated from healthy dogs. Based on whole bacterial genome analysis by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) with SmaI restriction endonuclease, there was more diversity in fingerprints for the coyote isolates, which had at least 10 major variants compared to the two variants described for domestic dog isolates from the eastern United States. By PFGE analysis, three Bartonella bacteremic coyotes were infected by a strain identical to the one isolated from three healthy dog carriers. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the mode of transmission of B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii, especially to identify potential vectors, and to determine how humans become infected.

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Available from: Edward B Breitschwerdt, Oct 04, 2015
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    • "Samples were examined at dilutions of 1:64 and 1:128 using a fluorescence microscope at 400 · magnification. The intensity of bacillus-specific fluorescence was scored subjectively from 1 to 4, as previously described (Chang et al. 2000). Samples with a fluorescence score of ‡ 2 at a dilution of 1:64 were considered positive because this antibody titer has proven to indicate prior exposure and current infection by Bartonella spp. in dogs and cats (Chomel et al. 1995, Pappalardo et al. 1997). "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Since 2002, an increased number of northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) from southcentral Alaska have been reported to be dying due to endocarditis and/or septicemia with infection by Streptococcus infantarius subsp. coli. Bartonella spp. DNA was also detected in northern sea otters as part of mortality investigations during this unusual mortality event (UME) in Kachemak Bay, Alaska. To evaluate the extent of exposure to Bartonella spp. in sea otters, sera collected from necropsied and live-captured northern sea otters, as well as necropsied southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) unaffected by the UME, were analyzed using an immunofluorescent antibody assay. Antibodies against Bartonella spp. were detected in sera from 50% of necropsied and 34% of presumed healthy, live-captured northern sea otters and in 16% of necropsied southern sea otters. The majority of sea otters with reactive sera were seropositive for B. washoensis, with antibody titers ranging from 1:64 to 1:256. Bartonella spp. antibodies were especially common in adult northern sea otters, both free-living (49%) and necropsied (62%). Adult stranded northern sea otters that died from infectious causes, such as opportunistic bacterial infections, were 27 times more likely to be Bartonella seropositive than adult stranded northern sea otters that died from noninfectious causes (p<0.001; 95% confidence interval 2.62-269.4). Because Bartonella spp. antibodies were detected in necropsied northern sea otters from southcentral (44%) and southwestern (86%) stocks of Alaska, as well as in necropsied southern sea otters (16%) in southcentral California, we concluded that Bartonella spp. exposure is widely distributed among sea otter populations in the Eastern Pacific, providing context for investigating future disease outbreaks and monitoring of Bartonella infections for sea otter management and conservation.
    Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 12/2014; 14(12):831-7. DOI:10.1089/vbz.2014.1612 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    • "Such an observation will need to be validated through further studies. By comparison , no sex differences were observed in island foxes (female = 36/133 [27%], male = 32/130 [24.6%]) (Namekata et al. 2009) or in coyotes (female = 155/407 [38%], male = 152/ 455 [33%]) from California (Chang et al. 2000). Unfortunately, no information regarding ectoparasite prevalence among these Texan foxes was available. "
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    ABSTRACT: Gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) were shown to be naturally infected with Bartonella rochalimae, a Bartonella species similar to Bartonella clarridgeiae (B.c.), and Bartonella vinsonii subspecies berkhoffii (B.v.berkhoffii) in northern California. A serological survey was performed to investigate the presence of Bartonella infection in 132 gray foxes from West/Central Texas. Using an immunofluorescence antibody test directed against B.v.berkhoffii and B.c., the antibody prevalence was 50% (66/132), with 22 (33.3%) individuals seropositive for B.c. only, 8 (12.2%) for B.v.berkhoffii, and 36 (54.5%) seroreactive for both B.c. and B.v.berkhoffii. The foxes had 3.63 more odds (95% confidence interval [CI]=1.38, 10.25) to be seropositive for B.c. than for B.v.berkhoffii. Female foxes were more likely to be seropositive for B.c. (odds ratio [OR]=2.90, 95% CI=1.33, 6.36) and also for both antigens (OR=2.50, 95% CI=1.06, 5.90) than males.
    Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.) 01/2012; 12(5):428-30. DOI:10.1089/vbz.2011.0805 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    • "B. v. berkhoffii, first isolated in a dog with aortic valve endocarditis in 1993, has been identified as a potential cause of cardiac arrhythmias, myocarditis, granulomatous lymphadenitis, uveitis, chorioditis, and sialometaplasia in domestic dogs [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] and as a cause of osteomyelitis in a cat [13]. B. v. berkhoffii has also been detected in gray foxes, coyotes, and humans and coyotes are believed to be the primary reservoirs of infection in California [11] [14] [15]. To date, four B. v. berkhoffii genotypes have been characterized based upon sequence differences within the 16S–23S intergenic spacer region (ITS) and bacteriophage associated heme-binding protein gene (Pap31): B. v. berkhoffii genotype I and II have been detected in a cat, dogs, coyotes , and humans and B. v. berkhoffii genotype III has also been described in gray foxes in the United States, dogs and a human with endocarditis from Europe, and a military working dog with endocarditis that originated in Germany [8,11,13,16–18]. "
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    ABSTRACT: It has been speculated that ticks may serve as vectors of Bartonella species. Circumstantial, clinical, epidemiological and serological evidence suggest that B. vinsonii subspecies berkhoffii (B. v. berkhoffii) might be transmitted by Rhipicephalus sanguineus. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether adult R. sanguineus ticks can be infected with a B. v. berkhoffii genotype II isolate via capillary tube feeding and whether the infection can then be transmitted from adult females to their eggs via trans-ovarial transmission. Furthermore, tick fecal material was also collected and screened as a possible source of infectious inoculum for canine infections. B. v. berkhoffii DNA was detected in 50% (7 of 14) of females that did not oviposit and in 14.3% (2 of 14) of female ticks that laid eggs, but not detected in egg clutches (100 eggs/female). DNA was also detected in tick feces collected on days 2 through 6 post-capillary tube feeding, however, dogs (n=3) did not become bacteremic or seroconvert when inoculated with tick fecal material. Therefore, trans-ovarial transmission of B. v. berkhoffii by R. sanguineus is unlikely, but further studies are needed to determine if tick fecal material can serve as a source of infection to canines.
    Comparative immunology, microbiology and infectious diseases 11/2011; 35(1):9-15. DOI:10.1016/j.cimid.2011.09.004 · 2.02 Impact Factor
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