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Cosegregation of a novel Bartonella species with Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia microti in Peromyscus leucopus.

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Abstract

During surveillance for various tickborne pathogens in the upper Midwest during the summer and early fall of 1995, a Bartonella-like agent was detected in the blood of mice that were concurrently infected with Borrelia burgdorferi or Babesia microti (or both). The organism was isolated in pure culture after inoculation of blood from wild-caught mice into C.B-17 scid/scid mice. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA and the citrate synthase genes showed that the novel Bartonella species and a Bartonella isolate from a mouse captured on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, were closely related to each other and secondarily related to Bartonella grahamii and Bartonella vinsonii. Further analysis of Peromyscus leucopus blood and tissue samples demonstrated that the novel Bartonella species was exclusively found in conjunction with B. burgdorferi and B. microti. Patent coinfection with these agents may be relatively frequent in naturally infected mice.

J Infect Dis. 1998 Feb;177(2):409-16. Research Support, U.S. Gov’t, P.H.S.

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