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Isolation of Candidatus Bartonella rousetti and Other Bat-associated Bartonellae from Bats and Their Flies in Zambia

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Hokudai Center for Zoonosis Control in Zambia, Hokkaido University Research Center for Zoonosis Control, Sapporo 001-0020, Japan
2
Division of Global Epidemiology, Hokkaido University Research Center for Zoonosis Control, Sapporo 001-0020, Japan
3
Laboratory of Parasitology, Graduate School of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0818, Japan
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Department of Para-Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, the University of Zambia, Lusaka 10101, Zambia
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Global Virus Network Affiliate Center of Excellence, the University of Zambia, Lusaka 10101, Zambia
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African Center of Excellence for Infectious Diseases of Humans and Animals, the University of Zambia, Lusaka 10101, Zambia
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Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Ministry of Tourism and Arts of Zambia, Lusaka 10101, Zambia
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Division of Molecular Pathobiology, Hokkaido University Research Center for Zoonosis Control, Sapporo 001-0020, Japan
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Department of Disease Control, School of Veterinary Medicine, the University of Zambia, Lusaka 10101, Zambia
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Global Institution for Collaborative Research and Education (GI-CoRE), Hokkaido University, Sapporo 001-0020, Japan
11
Global Virus Network, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
12
Division of Infection and Immunity, Hokkaido University Research Center for Zoonosis Control, Sapporo 001-0020, Japan
13
Division of Collaboration and Education, Hokkaido University Research Center for Zoonosis Control, Sapporo 001-0020, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(6), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9060469
Received: 12 May 2020 / Revised: 9 June 2020 / Accepted: 12 June 2020 / Published: 13 June 2020
Bat-associated bartonellae, including Bartonella mayotimonensis and Candidatus Bartonella rousetti, were recently identified as emerging and potential zoonotic agents, respectively. However, there is no report of bat-associated bartonellae in Zambia. Thus, we aimed to isolate and characterize Bartonella spp. from bats and bat flies captured in Zambia by culturing and PCR. Overall, Bartonella spp. were isolated from six out of 36 bats (16.7%), while Bartonella DNA was detected in nine out of 19 bat flies (47.3%). Subsequent characterization using a sequence of five different genes revealed that three isolates obtained from Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) were Ca. B. rousetti. The isolates obtained from insectivorous bats (Macronycteris vittatus) were divided into two previously unclassified bat-associated bartonellae. A phylogenetic analysis of the six genotypes of Bartonella gltA sequences from nine pathogen-positive bat flies revealed that three genotypes belonged to the same clades as bat-associated bartonellae, including Ca. B. rousetti. The other three genotypes represented arthropod-associated bartonellae, which have previously been isolated only from ectoparasites. We demonstrated that Ca. B. rousetti is maintained between bats (R. aegyptiacus) and bat flies in Zambia. Continuous surveillance of Bartonella spp. in bats and serological surveys in humans in Africa are warranted to evaluate the public health importance of bat-associated bartonellae. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bartonella; bat fly; bat; PCR; isolation; Zambia Bartonella; bat fly; bat; PCR; isolation; Zambia
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Qiu, Y.; Kajihara, M.; Nakao, R.; Mulenga, E.; Harima, H.; Hang’ombe, B.M.; Eto, Y.; Changula, K.; Mwizabi, D.; Sawa, H.; Higashi, H.; Mweene, A.; Takada, A.; Simuunza, M.; Sugimoto, C. Isolation of Candidatus Bartonella rousetti and Other Bat-associated Bartonellae from Bats and Their Flies in Zambia. Pathogens 2020, 9, 469.

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