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Detection of Kobe-type and Otsu-type Babesia microti in wild rodents in China's Yunnan province

  • XIN-RONG CHEN (a1) (a2), LI YE (a2), JUN-WEN FAN (a2), CHANG LI (a3), FANG TANG (a4), WEI LIU (a5), LIN-ZHU REN (a1) and JIE-YING BAI (a2)...

Summary

Babesiosis is an emerging tick-transmitted zoonosis prevalent in large parts of the world. This study was designed to determine the rates of Babesia microti infection among small rodents in Yunnan province, where human cases of babesiosis have been reported. Currently, distribution of Babesia in its endemic regions is largely unknown. In this study, we cataloged 1672 small wild rodents, comprising 4 orders, from nine areas in western Yunnan province between 2009 and 2011. Babesia microti DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction in 4·3% (72/1672) of the rodents analyzed. The most frequently infected rodent species included Apodemus chevrieri and Niviventer fulvescens. Rodents from forests and shrublands had significantly higher Babesia infection rates. Genetic comparisons revealed that Babesia was most similar to the Kobe- and Otsu-type strains identified in Japan. A variety of rodent species might be involved in the enzootic maintenance and transmission of B. microti, supporting the need for further serological investigations in humans.

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      Detection of Kobe-type and Otsu-type Babesia microti in wild rodents in China's Yunnan province
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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: J-Y. Bai, Laboratory Animal Center, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, 20 Dong-Da Street, Fengtai District Beijing 100071, People's Republic of China. (Email: baijieying@126.com)

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These authors contributed equally to this work.

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References

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