Bartonella dromedarii sp. nov. isolated from domesticated camels (Camelus dromedarius) in Israel

Michal Rasis, Nir Rudoler, David Schwartz, Michael Giladi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bartonella spp. are fastidious, Gram-negative bacilli that cause a wide spectrum of diseases in humans. Most Bartonella spp. have adapted to a specific host, generally a domestic or wild mammal. Dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) have become a focus of growing public-health interest because they have been identified as a reservoir host for the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Nevertheless, data on camel zoonoses are limited. We aimed to study the occurrence of Bartonella bacteremia among dromedaries in Israel. Nine of 51 (17.6%) camels were found to be bacteremic with Bartonella spp.; bacteremia levels ranged from five to > 1000 colony-forming units/mL. Phylogenetic reconstruction based on the concatenated sequences of gltA and rpoB genes demonstrated that the dromedary Bartonella isolates are closely related to other ruminantderived Bartonella spp., with B. bovis being the nearest relative. Using electron microscopy, the novel isolates were shown to be flagellated, whereas B. bovis is nonflagellated. Sequence comparisons analysis of the housekeeping genes ftsZ, ribC, and groEL showed the highest homology to B. chomelii, B. capreoli, and B. birtlesii, respectively. Sequence analysis of the gltA and rpoB revealed ∼96% identity to B. bovis, a previously suggested cutoff value for sequence-based differentiation of Bartonella spp., suggesting that this approach does not have sufficient discriminatory power for differentiating ruminant-related Bartonella spp. A comprehensive multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis based on nine genetic loci (gltA, rpoB, ftsZ, internal transcribed spacer (ITS), 16S rRNA, ribC, groEL, nuoG, and SsrA) identified seven sequence types of the new dromedary isolates. This is the first description of a Bartonella sp. from camelids. On the basis of a distinct reservoir and ecological niche, sequence analyses, and expression of flagella, we designate these isolates as a novel Bartonella sp. named Bartonella dromedarii sp. nov. Further studies are required to explore its zoonotic potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-782
Number of pages8
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Volume14
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014

Keywords

  • Bartonella dromedarii
  • Bartonella infection
  • Dromedary camels

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