U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


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McKee CD, Kosoy MY, Bai Y, Osikowicz LM, Franka R, Gilbert AT, et al. (2017) Diversity and phylogenetic relationships among Bartonella strains from Thai bats. PLoS ONE 12(7): e0181696. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0181696


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Bartonellae are phylogenetically diverse, intracellular bacteria commonly found in mammals. Previous studies have demonstrated that bats have a high prevalence and diversity of Bartonella infections globally. Isolates (n = 42) were obtained from five bat species in four provinces of Thailand and analyzed using sequences of the citrate synthase gene (gltA). Sequences clustered into seven distinct genogroups; four of these genogroups displayed similarity with Bartonella spp. sequences from other bats in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Thirty of the isolates representing these seven genogroups were further characterized by sequencing four additional loci (ftsZ, nuoG, rpoB, and ITS) to clarify their evolutionary relationships with other Bartonella species and to assess patterns of diversity among strains. Among the seven genogroups, there were differences in the number of sequence variants, ranging from 1-5, and the amount of nucleotide divergence, ranging from 0.035-3.9%. Overall, these seven genogroups meet the criteria for distinction as novel Bartonella species, with sequence divergence among genogroups ranging from 6.4±15.8%. Evidence of intra- and intercontinental phylogenetic relationships and instances of homologous recombination among Bartonella genogroups in related bat species were found in Thai bats.

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