Molecular detection of zoonotic bartonellae (B. henselae, B. elizabethae and B. rochalimae) in fleas collected from dogs in Israel

S. Sofer, R. Gutiérrez, D. Morick, K. Y. Mumcuoglu, S. Harrus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fleas represent an acknowledged burden on dogs worldwide. The characterization of flea species infesting kennel dogs from two localities in Israel (Rehovot and Jerusalem) and their molecular screening for Bartonella species (Rhizobiales: Bartonellaceae) was investigated. A total of 355 fleas were collected from 107 dogs. The fleas were morphologically classified and molecularly screened targeting the Bartonella 16S-23S internal transcribed spacer (ITS). Of the 107 dogs examined, 80 (74.8%) were infested with Ctenocephalides canis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae), 68 (63.6%) with Ctenocephalides felis, 15 (14.0%) with Pulex irritans (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) and one (0.9%) with Xenopsylla cheopis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). Fleas were grouped into 166 pools (one to nine fleas per pool) according to species and host. Thirteen of the 166 flea pools (7.8%) were found to be positive for Bartonella DNA. Detected ITS sequences were 99-100% similar to those of four Bartonella species: Bartonella henselae (six pools); Bartonella elizabethae (five pools); Bartonella rochalimae (one pool), and Bartonella bovis (one pool). The present study indicates the occurrence of a variety of flea species in dogs in Israel; these flea species are, in turn, carriers of several zoonotic Bartonella species. Physicians, veterinarians and public health workers should be aware of the presence of these pathogens in dog fleas in Israel and preventive measures should be implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-348
Number of pages5
JournalMedical and Veterinary Entomology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Royal Entomological Society.


  • Bartonella bovis
  • Bartonella elizabethae
  • Bartonella henselae
  • Bartonella rochalimae
  • Ctenocephalides canis
  • Ctenocephalides felis
  • Pulex irritans
  • Xenopsylla cheopis
  • Zoonosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • General Veterinary
  • Insect Science


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