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Vet Microbiol. 2004 Jan 14;98(1):63-9.

Identification of Bartonella strains isolated from wild and domestic ruminants by a single-step PCR analysis of the 16S-23S intergenic spacer region.

Author information

  • 1UMR BIPAR, and Unité de Pathologie du Bétail, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, 7 avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94700 Maisons-Alfort, France.

Erratum in

  • Vet Microbiol. 2004 May 20;100(1-2):139-40.


Of the 20 species or subspecies of Bartonella currently known, 7 cause various diseases in humans with many being zoonotic. However, some Bartonella species appear only to cause asymptomatic bacteraemia in their hosts. In ruminants, three Bartonella species (B. bovis, B. capreoli and B. schoenbuchensis) have recently been described. However, limited or no information has yet been published concerning their mode of transmission and their possible pathogenicity for domestic cattle. The phylogenetic relationship of these species with other bacteria of the Bartonella genus has only been recently investigated. It is therefore necessary to develop appropriate tools that will easily allow identification of these ruminant strains for epidemiological and clinical studies. A single-step PCR assay, based on the amplification of a fragment of the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer (ITS), was evaluated for identification of Bartonella isolated from domestic cattle and from free-ranging or captive cervids. For each Bartonella species tested, the PCR assay led to a product that was unique either for its length or its sequence. All ruminant isolates tested could be easily differentiated among themselves and from the other Bartonella species. Furthermore, sequence analysis of the PCR products revealed a close relationship between all ruminant Bartonella strains. Therefore, ITS PCR testing appears to be a convenient tool for a quick diagnosis of ruminant Bartonella species.

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