Bartonella genotypes in fleas (insecta: Siphonaptera) collected from rodents in the negev desert, Israel

Danny Morick, Boris R. Krasnov, Irina S. Khokhlova, Georgy I. Shenbrot, Michael Y. Kosoy, Shimon Harrus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fleas collected from rodents in the Negev Desert in southern Israel were molecularly screened for Bartonella species. A total of 1,148 fleas, collected from 122 rodents belongingto six species, were pooled in 245 pools based on flea species, sex, and rodent host species. Two Bartonella gene fragments, corresponding to RNA polymerase B (rpoB) and citrate synthase (gltA), were targeted, and 94 and 74 flea pools were found positive by PCR, respectively. The Bartonella 16S-23S internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region was also targeted, and 66 flea pools were found to be positive by PCR. Sixteen different Bartonella gltA genotypes were detected in 94 positive flea pools collected from 5 different rodent species, indicating that fleas collected from each rodent species can harbor several Bartonella genotypes. Based on gltA analysis, identified Bartonella genotypes were highly similar or identical to strains previously detected in rodent species from different parts of the world. A gltA fragment 100% similar to Bartonella henselae was detected in one flea pool. Another 2 flea pools contained gltA fragments that were closely related to B. henselae (98% similarity). The high sequence similarities to the zoonotic pathogen B. henselae warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6864-6869
Number of pages6
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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