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Bartonella infection was explored in wild animals from Israel. Golden jackals (Canis aureus), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis), southern white-breasted hedgehogs (Erinaceus concolor), social voles (Microtus socialis), Tristram's jirds (Meriones tristrami), Cairo spiny mice (Acomys cahirinus), house mice (Mus musculus) and Indian crested porcupines (Hystrix indica) were sampled and screened by molecular and isolation methods. Bartonella-DNA was detected in 46 animals: 9/70 (13%) golden jackals, 2/11 (18%) red foxes, 3/35 (9%) rock hyraxes, 1/3 (33%) southern white-breasted hedgehogs, 5/57 (9%) Cairo spiny mice, 25/43 (58%) Tristram's jirds and 1/6 (16%) house mice. Bartonella rochalimae and B. rochalimae-like were widespread among jackals, foxes, hyraxes and jirds. This report represents the first detection of this zoonotic Bartonella sp. in rock hyraxes and golden jackals. Moreover, DNA of Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii, Bartonella acomydis, Candidatus Bartonella merieuxii and other uncharacterized genotypes were identified. Three different Bartonella strains were isolated from Tristram's jirds, and several genotypes were molecularly detected from these animals. Furthermore, this study reports the first detection of Bartonella infection in a southern hedgehog. Our study indicates that infection with zoonotic and other Bartonella species is widespread among wild animals and stresses their potential threat to public health.
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