Bartonella species are emerging human pathogens. Bats are known to carry diverse Bartonella species, some of which are capable of infecting humans. However, as the second largest mammalian group by a number of species, the role of bats as the reservoirs of Bartonella species is not fully explored, in term of their species diversity and worldwide distribution. China, especially Northern China, harbors a number of endemic insectivorous bat species; however, to our knowledge, there are not yet studies about Bartonella in bats in China. The aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence and genetic diversity of Bartonella species in bats in Northern China. Bartonella species were detected by PCR amplification of gltA gene in 25.2% (27/107) bats in Mengyin County, Shandong Province of China, including 1/3 Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, 2/10 Rhinolophus pusillus, 9/16 Myotis fimbriatus, 1/5 Myotis ricketti, 14/58 Myotis pequinius. Phylogenetic analysis showed that Bartonella species detected in bats in this study clustered into ten groups, and some might be novel Bartonella species. An association between Bartonella species and bat species was demonstrated and co-infection with different Bartonella species in a single bat was also observed. Our findings expanded our knowledge on the genetic diversity of Bartonella in bats, and shed light on the ecology of bat-borne Bartonella species.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)