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New World origins for haemoparasites infecting United Kingdom grey squirrels ( Sciurus carolinensis ), as revealed by phylogenetic analysis of bartonella infecting squirrel populations in England and the United States

Bown, K. J., Ellis, B. A., Birtles, R. J., Durden, L. A., Lello, Joanne, Begon, M. and Bennett, M. 2003. New World origins for haemoparasites infecting United Kingdom grey squirrels ( Sciurus carolinensis ), as revealed by phylogenetic analysis of bartonella infecting squirrel populations in England and the United States. Epidemiology and Infection 129 (03) , pp. 647-653. 10.1017/S0950268802007768

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Abstract

Phylogenetic analyses of bartonella have suggested divergence between bartonellae that infect mammals native to the Old and New Worlds. We characterized bartonella isolated from Eastern grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in the United States and from grey and red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) in the United Kingdom by nucleotide sequence comparison (gltA and groEL). Isolates from grey squirrels in the United States and the United Kingdom were identical, and most similar to Bartonella vinsonii, a species associated with New World rodents. A single and novel bartonella genotype was obtained from all 12 red squirrel isolates. Although grey squirrels were first introduced into the United Kingdom over 125 years ago, they continue to be infected solely by the bartonella associated with grey squirrels native to the United States. These results illustrate that exotic species may be accompanied by the introduction and maintenance, over many generations, of their microparasites.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0950-2688
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:43
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/64012

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