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Bartonella species in bat flies (Diptera: Nycteribiidae) from western Africa

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Vector Borne Diseases, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.
Parasitology (Impact Factor: 2.36). 03/2012; 139(3):324-9. DOI: 10.1017/S0031182011002113
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Bat flies are obligate ectoparasites of bats and it has been hypothesized that they may be involved in the transmission of Bartonella species between bats. A survey was conducted to identify whether Cyclopodia greefi greefi (Diptera: Nycteribiidae) collected from Ghana and 2 islands in the Gulf of Guinea harbour Bartonella. In total, 137 adult flies removed from Eidolon helvum, the straw-coloured fruit bat, were screened for the presence of Bartonella by culture and PCR analysis. Bartonella DNA was detected in 91 (66·4%) of the specimens examined and 1 strain of a Bartonella sp., initially identified in E. helvum blood from Kenya, was obtained from a bat fly collected in Ghana. This is the first study, to our knowledge, to report the identification and isolation of Bartonella in bat flies from western Africa.

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