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Isolation of Bartonella species from rodents in Taiwan including a strain closely related to 'Bartonella rochalimae' from Rattus norvegicus.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan.
Journal of Medical Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.3). 01/2009; 57(Pt 12):1496-501. DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.2008/004671-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT An increasing number of Bartonella species originally isolated from small mammals have been identified as emerging human pathogens. During an investigation of Bartonella infection in rodent populations carried out in Taiwan in 2006, a total of 58 rodents were tested. It was determined that 10.3 % (6/58) of the animals were Bartonella bacteraemic. After PCR/RFLP analysis, four isolates were identified as Bartonella elizabethae and one isolate as Bartonella tribocorum. However, there was one specific isolate with an unrecognized PCR/RFLP pattern. After further sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the gltA, ftsZ and rpoB genes, and the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region, the results indicated that this specific isolate from Rattus norvegicus was closely related to human pathogenic 'Bartonella rochalimae'. Further studies need to be conducted to evaluate whether this rodent species could be a reservoir for 'B. rochalimae'.

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