Prevalence and diversity of small mammal-associated Bartonella species in rural and urban Kenya

Halliday, J. E.B. , Knobel, D. L. , Agwanda, B. F., Bai, Y., Breiman, R. F., Cleaveland, S. , Njenga, M.K. and Kosoy, M. (2015) Prevalence and diversity of small mammal-associated Bartonella species in rural and urban Kenya. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 9(3), e0003608. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003608) (PMID:25781015) (PMCID:PMC4362764)

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Several rodent-associated Bartonella species are human pathogens but little is known about their epidemiology. We trapped rodents and shrews around human habitations at two sites in Kenya (rural Asembo and urban Kibera) to determine the prevalence of Bartonella infection. Bartonella were detected by culture in five of seven host species. In Kibera, 60% of Rattus rattus were positive, as compared to 13% in Asembo. Bartonella were also detected in C. olivieri (7%), Lemniscomys striatus (50%), Mastomys natalensis (43%) and R. norvegicus (50%). Partial sequencing of the citrate synthase (gltA) gene of isolates showed that Kibera strains were similar to reference isolates from Rattus trapped in Asia, America, and Europe, but that most strains from Asembo were less similar. Host species and trapping location were associated with differences in infection status but there was no evidence of associations between host age or sex and infection status. Acute febrile illness occurs at high incidence in both Asembo and Kibera but the etiology of many of these illnesses is unknown. Bartonella similar to known human pathogens were detected in small mammals at both sites and investigation of the ecological determinants of host infection status and of the public health significance of Bartonella infections at these locations is warranted.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cleaveland, Professor Sarah and Knobel, Mr Darryn and Halliday, Dr Jo
Authors: Halliday, J. E.B., Knobel, D. L., Agwanda, B. F., Bai, Y., Breiman, R. F., Cleaveland, S., Njenga, M.K., and Kosoy, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1935-2735
Copyright Holders:Free of copyright
First Published:First published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 9(3):e0003608
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
500531An integrated epidemiological study of zoonotic pathogens in linked human and animal populations in rural KenyaSarah CleavelandWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)081828/B/06/ZRI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED
568221Impact, ecology and social determinants of bacterial zoonoses in northern TanzaniaSarah CleavelandBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/J010367/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED