, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 534-541
Date: 14 Feb 2009

Evolutional and Geographical Relationships of Bartonella grahamii Isolates from Wild Rodents by Multi-locus Sequencing Analysis

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To clarify the relationship between Bartonella grahamii strains and both the rodent host species and the geographic location of the rodent habitat, we have investigated 31 B. grahamii strains from ten rodent host species from Asia (Japan and China), North America (Canada and the USA), and Europe (Russia and the UK). On the basis of multi-locus sequencing analysis of 16S rRNA, ftsZ, gltA, groEL, ribC, and rpoB, the strains were classified into two large groups, an Asian group and an American/European group. In addition, the strains examined were clearly clustered according to the geographic locations where the rodents had been captured. In the phylogenetic analysis based on gltA, the Japanese strains were divided into two subgroups: one close to strains from China, and the other related to strains from Far Eastern Russia. Thus, these observations suggest that the B. grahamii strains distributed in Japanese rodents originated from two different geographic regions. In the American/European group, B. grahamii from the North American continent showed an ancestral lineage and strict host specificity; by contrast, European strains showed low host specificity. The phylogenetic analysis and host specificity of B. grahamii raise the possibility that B. grahamii strains originating in the North American continent were distributed to European countries by adapting to various rodent hosts.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00248-009-9579-8