Bartonella rochalimae (B.r.) and Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii (B.v.b.) have been isolated from gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) in mainland California and high Bartonella seroprevalence was reported in island foxes (U. litorralis), especially from Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands. As a follow-up study, the objectives were to determine the prevalence of Bartonella bacteremia and seropositivity and to identify the Bartonella species infecting a convenience sample of 51 island foxes living on Santa Rosa Island. Using an immuno-fluorescence antibody test directed against B.v.b and Bartonella clarridgeiae (B.c.), used as a substitute for B.r., the overall antibody prevalence was 62.7% with 16 (31.4%) foxes seropositive for B.c. only, 5 (9.8%) for B.v.b. only, and 11 (21.6%) for both antigens. B.v.b. was isolated from 6 (11.8%) foxes using blood culture medium. An additional seropositive fox tested PCR positive for B.v.b. and 3 other seropositive foxes tested PCR positive for B. rochalimae. All of the isolated B.v.b. colonies and the B.v.b. PCR positive sample belonged to type III, the same type found to infect mainland gray foxes. Therefore, Bartonella infection is widespread within this island fox population with evidence for B.v.b. type III reservoir host-specificity. Presence of B. rochalimae in the Channel Islands has been detected for the first time using PCR.
- Bartonella rochalimae
- Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii
- Island fox
- Urocyon litorralis
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