Molecular detection of microorganisms associated with small mammals and their ectoparasites in Mali

Adama Zan Diarra, Abdoulaye Kassoum Kone, Safiatou Doumbo Niare, Maureen Laroche, Georges Diatta, Solimane Ag Atteynine, Mäimouna Coulibaly, Abdoul Karim Sangare, Bouréma Kouriba, Abdoulaye Djimde, Abdoulaye Dabo, Issaka Sagara, Bernard Davoust, Stéphane Ranque, Mahamadou A. Thera, Didier Raoult, Ogobara K. Doumbo, Philippe Parola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Smallmammalsare the natural reservoirs formanyzoonotic pathogens. Using molecular tools,weassessed the prevalence of bacteria and protozoans in small mammals and their ectoparasites in Faladjè, Bougouni, and Bamoko, Mali. A total of 130 small mammals belonging to 10 different species were captured, of which 74 (56.9%) were infested by ectoparasites, including Laelaps echidnina, Xenopsylla cheopis, Amblyomma variegatum, Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato, andHaemaphysalis spp. nymphs.DNAof Bartonellawasfound in 14/75 (18.7%), 6/48 (12.5%), and 3/7 (42.8%) small mammals from Faladjè, Bougouni, and Bamako, respectively. In Faladjè, Bartonella DNA was detected in 31/68 (45.6%) of L. echidnina and 14/22 (63.6%) of X. cheopis. In Bougouni, it was found in 2/26 (7.7%) of L. echidnina and 10/42 (23.8%) of X. cheopis. The sequences of Bartonella obtained from small mammals were close to those of Bartonella mastomydis, Bartonella elizabethae, and uncultured Bartonella spp. In Faladjè, Coxiella burnetii DNA was detected in 64.4% (29/45) of Haemaphysalis spp. ticks, 4.5% (2/44) of Mastomys erythroleucus, 12.5% (1/8) of Praomys daltoni, and 1.5% (1/68) of L. echidnina. We found DNA of Wolbachia in X. cheopis from Faladjè and DNA of Rickettsia africae and Ehrlichia ruminantium in Am. variegatum from Bougouni. The results of our study show that several small mammal species harbor and may serve as potential reservoirs of Bartonella spp., likely to play a major role in the maintenance, circulation, and potential transmission of bacteria in Mali. The pathogenicity of these bacteria for humans or animals remains to be demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2542-2551
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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