Molecular Surveillance for Vector-Borne Bacteria in Rodents and Tree Shrews of Peninsular Malaysia Oil Palm Plantations

Mohd-Azami, Siti Nurul Izzah, Loong, Shih Keng, Khoo, Jing Jing ORCID: 0000-0003-1285-6052, Husin, Nurul Aini, Lim, Fang Shiang, Mahfodz, Nur Hidayana, Ishak, Siti Nabilah, Mohd-Taib, Farah Shafawati, Makepeace, Benjamin L ORCID: 0000-0002-6100-6727 and AbuBakar, Sazaly
(2023) Molecular Surveillance for Vector-Borne Bacteria in Rodents and Tree Shrews of Peninsular Malaysia Oil Palm Plantations. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, 8 (2). p. 74.

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<jats:p>Many human clinical cases attributed to vector-borne pathogens are underreported in Malaysia, especially in rural localities where healthcare infrastructures are lacking. Here, 217 small mammals, consisting of rodents and tree shrews, were trapped in oil palm plantations in the Peninsular Malaysia states of Johor and Perak. Species identification was performed using morphological and DNA barcoding analyses, and 203 small mammals were included in the detection of selected vector-borne bacteria. The DNA extracted from the spleens was examined for Orientia tsutsugamushi, Borrelia spp., Bartonella spp. and Rickettsia spp. using established PCR assays. The small mammals collected in this study included Rattus tanezumi R3 mitotype (n = 113), Rattus argentiventer (n = 24), Rattus tiomanicus (n = 22), Rattus exulans (n = 17), Rattus tanezumi sensu stricto (n = 1) and Tupaia glis (n = 40). Orientia tsutsugamushi, Borrelia spp. and Bartonella phoceensis were detected in the small mammals with the respective detection rates of 12.3%, 5.9% and 4.9%. Rickettsia spp., however, was not detected. This study encountered the presence of both Lyme disease and relapsing fever-related borreliae in small mammals collected from the oil palm plantation study sites. All three microorganisms (Orientia tsutsugamushi, Borrelia spp. and Bartonella phoceensis) were detected in the R. tanezumi R3 mitotype, suggesting that the species is a competent host for multiple microorganisms. Further investigations are warranted to elucidate the relationships between the ectoparasites, the small mammals and the respective pathogens.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bartonella phoceensis, Borrelia spp, infectious disease, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Rattus spp, Rickettsia spp
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2023 08:15
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2023 08:01
DOI: 10.3390/tropicalmed8020074
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