ABSTRACT: A total of 103 blood samples collected from wild small mammals captured in the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve on the south of Moscow region were studied to determine the bartonellae prevalence. The examined species were the yellow-necked mice Apodemus flavicollis (35 samples), the European wood mouse Apodemus uralensis (10 samples), the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus (51 samples), the house mouse Mus musculus (3 samples), the common vole Microtus arvalis (2 samples), and the shrew Sorex araneus (2 samples). Initially, we obtained 76 bacterial Bartonella-like isolates after plating onto the surface of the solid nutrient media. 66 of them were PCR-positive at least for three of four targets, gltA, ftsZ, ribC and 16S RNA. Thus, the percentage of the infection in the studied community was 64%. Subsequent RFLP assay showed that obtained isolates belonged to the Bartonella grahamii and/or B. taylorii species. In 7 cases we found both bartonellae species in one animal. These data were confirmed by direct sequencing of four ftsZ, four ribC and two gltA amplicons. According to our data, there is no any marked host specificity for these bartonellae species. Now we have laid the bartonellae strain collection consisting of 31 isolates. To our knowledge, this is the first investigation of the bartonellae prevalence in wild small mammals performed in Russia. The comparison of our data with those obtained by European researchers and issues of coinfection by different bartonellae species and host specificity are discussed.
Molekuliarnaia genetika, mikrobiologiia i virusologiia 02/2006;