Genotyping of Bartonella bacteria and their animal hosts: Current status and perspectives

M. Kosoy, C. McKee, L. Albayrak, Y. Fofanov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


SUMMARY Growing evidence demonstrates that bacterial species diversity is substantial, and many of these species are pathogenic in some contexts or hosts. At the same time, laboratories and museums have collected valuable animal tissue and ectoparasite samples that may contain substantial novel information on bacterial prevalence and diversity. However, the identification of bacterial species is challenging, partly due to the difficulty in culturing many microbes and the reliance on molecular data. Although the genomics revolution will surely add to our knowledge of bacterial systematics, these approaches are not accessible to all researchers and rely predominantly on cultured isolates. Thus, there is a need for comprehensive molecular analyses capable of accurately genotyping bacteria from animal tissues or ectoparasites using common methods that will facilitate large-scale comparisons of species diversity and prevalence. To illustrate the challenges of genotyping bacteria, we focus on the genus Bartonella, vector-borne bacteria common in mammals. We highlight the value and limitations of commonly used techniques for genotyping bartonellae and make recommendations for researchers interested in studying the diversity of these bacteria in various samples. Our recommendations could be applicable to many bacterial taxa (with some modifications) and could lead to a more complete understanding of bacterial species diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-562
Number of pages20
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bartonella
  • Key wordsbarcoding
  • bacterial species
  • genomics
  • genotyping
  • parasite ecology
  • parasite-host association

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Genotyping of Bartonella bacteria and their animal hosts: Current status and perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this