MOLECULAR DETECTION OF RICKETTSIA FELIS, RICKETTSIA TYPHI AND TWO GENOTYPES CLOSELY RELATED TO BARTONELLA ELIZABETHAE

RITA DE SOUSA Centro de Estudos de Vectores e Doencas Infecciosa, Instituto Nacional de Saude Dr. Ricardo Jorge, Av da Liberdade No 5, 2965 Aguas de Moura, Portugal; Unite des Rickettsies, CNRS UMR 6020, IFR 48, Faculte de Medecine, Universite de la Mediterranee, Marseille, France

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PIERRE EDOUARD-FOURNIER Centro de Estudos de Vectores e Doencas Infecciosa, Instituto Nacional de Saude Dr. Ricardo Jorge, Av da Liberdade No 5, 2965 Aguas de Moura, Portugal; Unite des Rickettsies, CNRS UMR 6020, IFR 48, Faculte de Medecine, Universite de la Mediterranee, Marseille, France

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MARGARIDA SANTOS-SILVA Centro de Estudos de Vectores e Doencas Infecciosa, Instituto Nacional de Saude Dr. Ricardo Jorge, Av da Liberdade No 5, 2965 Aguas de Moura, Portugal; Unite des Rickettsies, CNRS UMR 6020, IFR 48, Faculte de Medecine, Universite de la Mediterranee, Marseille, France

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FATIMA AMARO Centro de Estudos de Vectores e Doencas Infecciosa, Instituto Nacional de Saude Dr. Ricardo Jorge, Av da Liberdade No 5, 2965 Aguas de Moura, Portugal; Unite des Rickettsies, CNRS UMR 6020, IFR 48, Faculte de Medecine, Universite de la Mediterranee, Marseille, France

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FATIMA BACELLAR Centro de Estudos de Vectores e Doencas Infecciosa, Instituto Nacional de Saude Dr. Ricardo Jorge, Av da Liberdade No 5, 2965 Aguas de Moura, Portugal; Unite des Rickettsies, CNRS UMR 6020, IFR 48, Faculte de Medecine, Universite de la Mediterranee, Marseille, France

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DIDIER RAOULT Centro de Estudos de Vectores e Doencas Infecciosa, Instituto Nacional de Saude Dr. Ricardo Jorge, Av da Liberdade No 5, 2965 Aguas de Moura, Portugal; Unite des Rickettsies, CNRS UMR 6020, IFR 48, Faculte de Medecine, Universite de la Mediterranee, Marseille, France

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A total of 56 fleas were collected from mice, rats, and one hedgehog in national parks of mainland Portugal and the Madeira Island. All fleas were tested for the presence of bacteria of the genera Rickettsia and Bartonella using PCR assays. In fleas from mainland Portugal, we detected Rickettsia felis in one Archaeopsylla erinacei maura flea and in one Ctenophtalmus sp. In five Leptopsylla segnis fleas taken from rats in the Madeira Island, we identified Rickettsia typhi. In addition, in four fleas from the genera Ornithophaga and Stenoponia collect from mice and a rat in mainland Portugal, we detected the presence of two new Bartonella genotypes closely related to Bartonella elizabethae. Our findings emphasize the potential risk of flea-transmitted infections in mainland Portugal and the Madeira archipelago, and extend our knowledge of the potential flea vectors of human pathogens.

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