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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2009 Jul;81(1):55-8.

Isolation and genetic characterization of a Bartonella strain closely related to Bartonella tribocorum and Bartonella elizabethae in Israeli commensal rats.

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  • 1Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel.


Ten Bartonella isolates were cultured from blood drawn from black rats (Rattus rattus) captured in the Tel Aviv area. Genetic characterization included amplification and sequencing of five gene fragments including the ribC, rpoB, 16S, groEL, and gltA and the 16S-23S intergenic spacer region. Sequence comparisons showed that all 10 isolates were identical in all genes studied comprising a total of 3,873 bp analyzed. The sequences of each of the partial genes analyzed indicated a high sequence similarity (97-99.8%) to B. tribocorum or B. elizabethae. The gltA sequence was 100% homologous to a genotype identified in R. rattus in Dhaka, Bangladesh, suggesting the existence of a widespread Asian Bartonella strain infecting the black rats (R. rattus). The detection of a Bartonella genotype closely related to B. elizabethae in the biggest metropolitan center in Israel warrants further study of its zoonotic potential and pathogenic characteristics.

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