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MOLECULAR DETECTION OF BARTONELLA QUINTANA, B. ELIZABETHAE, B. KOEHLERAE, B. DOSHIAE, B. TAYLORII, AND RICKETTSIA FELIS IN RODENT FLEAS COLLECTED IN KABUL, AFGHANISTAN

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  • 1 Secteur Vétérinaire Interarmées, Service de Santé des Armées, Toulouse, France; Unité des Rickettsies, Faculté de Médecine, Marseille, France; Institut de Médecine Tropicale du Service de Santé des Armées, Marseille, France; Direction du Service de Santé en Région Sud-Est, Lyon, France

The prevalences of Bartonella spp. and Rickettsia spp. were investigated using molecular methods in 77 rodent fleas collected in November 2002 by the French forces detachment in Kabul, Afghanistan. Overall, Bartonella DNA was detected in 15.5% of gerbil fleas and 40.5% of rat fleas, whereas Rickettsia felis was found in 9% of gerbil fleas. We described for the first time in this country Bartonella quintana, B. koehlerae, B. taylorii, and Rickettsia felis in fleas from the gerbil species Meriones lybicus, and B. elizabethae and B. doshiae in rat fleas. Of these, B. quintana, B. elizabethae, B. koehlerae, and R. felis are recognized human pathogens. These results emphasize the potential risk of flea-borne infections transmitted by rodents in this area, and suggest that preventive measures should be taken in the general framework of zoonoses management.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Jean-Lou Marié, Secteur Vétérinaire Interarmées, BP 05, 31998 Toulouse Armées, France, Telephone: 33-5-62-57-44-18, Fax: 33-5-62-57-44-20, E-mail: jean-lou.marie@wanadoo.fr.
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