Zoonotic Bartonella species in Eurasian wolves and other free-ranging wild mammals from Italy

Grazia Greco, Aya Attia Koraney Zarea, Giovanni Sgroi, Maria Tempesta, Nicola D’Alessio, Gianvito Lanave, Marcos Antônio Bezerra-Santos, Roberta Iatta, Vincenzo Veneziano, Domenico Otranto, Bruno Chomel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Bartonellae are emerging vector-borne pathogens infecting humans, domestic mammals and wildlife. Ninety-seven red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 8 European badgers (Meles meles), 6 Eurasian wolves (Canis lupus), 6 European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus), 3 beech martens (Martes foina) and 2 roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) from Italian Nature Conservatory Parks were investigated for Bartonella infection. Several Bartonella species (9.84%; 95% CI: 4.55–15.12), including zoonotic ones, were molecularly detected among wolves (83.3%; 95% CI: 51–100.00), foxes (4.12%; 95% CI: 0.17–8.08), hedgehogs (33.33%; 95% CI: 0.00–71.05) and a roe deer. Bartonella rochalimae was the most common Bartonella species (i.e. in 4 foxes and 2 wolves) detected. Candidatus B. merieuxii and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii were identified for the first time in wolves. Furthermore, Bartonella schoenbuchensis was identified in a roe deer and a new clone with phylogenetic proximity to B. clarridgeiae was detected in European hedgehogs. Zoonotic and other Bartonella species were significantly more frequent in Eurasian wolves (p <.0001), than in other free-ranging wild mammals, representing a potential reservoir for infection in humans and domestic animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalZoonoses and Public Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Bartonella
  • Eurasian wolf
  • hedgehog
  • red fox
  • roe deer
  • zoonosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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