Whole-genome sequence analysis and exploration of the zoonotic potential of a rat-borne Bartonella elizabethae

S. T. Tay, K. L. Kho, W. Y. Wee, S. W. Choo

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Bartonella elizabethae has been known to cause endocarditis and neuroretinitis in humans. The genomic features and virulence profiles of a B. elizabethae strain (designated as BeUM) isolated from the spleen of a wild rat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia are described in this study. The BeUM strain has a genome size of 1,932,479 bp and GC content of 38.3%. There is a high degree of conservation between the genomes of strain BeUM with B. elizabethae type strains (ATCC 49927 and F9251) and a rat-borne strain, Re6043vi. Of 2137 gene clusters identified from B. elizabethae strains, 2064 (96.6%) are indicated as the core gene clusters. Comparative genome analysis of B. elizabethae strains reveals virulence genes which are known in other pathogenic Bartonella species, including VirB2- 11, vbhB2- B11, VirD4, trw, vapA2- 5, hbpA- E, bepA- F, bepH, badA/vomp/brp, ialB, omp43/89 and korA- B. A putative intact prophage has been identified in the strain BeUM, in addition to a 8 kb pathogenicity island. The whole genome analysis supports the zoonotic potential of the rodent-borne B. elizabethae, and provides basis for future functional and pathogenicity studies of B. elizabethae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalActa Tropica
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Bartonella elizabethae
  • Genome assembly
  • Prophage
  • Zoonotic potential

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