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Bartonella species identified in rodent and feline hosts from island and mainland Western Australia

Dybing, N.A., Jacobson, C., Irwin, P., Algar, D. and Adams, P.J. (2016) Bartonella species identified in rodent and feline hosts from island and mainland Western Australia. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 16 (4). pp. 238-244.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2015.1902
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Abstract

Bacteria of the genus Bartonella have been described in multiple mammalian hosts with many species capable of causing disease in humans. Cats and various species of rats have been reported to play a role as vertebrate hosts to a number of Bartonella spp. This study aimed to identify Bartonella spp. in Western Australia, Dirk Hartog Island (DHI), and Christmas Island (CI) and to investigate the presence of potential arthropod vectors. Feral cats were collected from CI (n = 35), DHI (n = 23) and southwest Western Australia (swWA; n = 58), and black rats were collected from CI (n = 48). Individuals were necropsied, ectoparasites were collected by external examination of carcasses, and splenic tissue was collected for polymerase chain reaction analysis to detect Bartonella DNA. Bartonella henselae DNA was detected from two cats and Bartonella koehlerae DNA from one cat in southwest WA, but Bartonella DNA was not identified in cats on DHI or CI. Bartonella phoceensis (28/48 = 58.3%) and a novel Bartonella genotype (8/48 = 16.7%) based on the internal transcribed space region were detected in the spleens of black rats on CI. Detection of Bartonella spp. in each location corresponded to the presence of ectoparasites. Cats from southwest WA harbored four species of fleas, including Ctenocephalides felis, and black rats on CI were infested with multiple species of ectoparasites, including mites, fleas, and lice. Conversely, cats on Dirk Hartog and CI were free of ectoparasites. This study has identified the DNA of Bartonella species from island and mainland swWA with some (B. henselae and B. koehlerae) of known zoonotic importance. This study further extends the geographical range for the pathogenic B. koehlerae. The association of Bartonella with ectoparasites is unsurprising, but little is known about the specific vector competence of the ectoparasites identified in this study.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
Copyright: © 2016 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/30681
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