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A New Clade of African Body and Head Lice Infected by Bartonella quintana and Yersinia pestis—Democratic Republic of the Congo

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2015
Authors:Drali, R, Davoust, B, Jean-Christophe, S, Raoult, D, Diatta, G
Journal:The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Pagination:990 - 993
Date Published:Apr-11-2015
Keywords:bartonella quintana, Congo, mitochondrial clade, Yersinia pestis

The human body louse is known as a vector for the transmission of three serious diseases—specifically, epi- demic typhus, trench fever, and relapsing fever caused by Rickettsia prowazekii, Bartonella quintana, and Borrelia recurrentis, respectively—that have killed millions of people. It is also suspected in the transmission of a fourth pathogen, Yersinia pestis, which is the etiologic agent of plague. To date, human lice belonging to the genus Pediculus have been classified into three mitochondrial clades: A, B, and C. Here, we describe a fourth mitochondrial clade, Clade D, comprising head and body lice. Clade D may be a vector of B. quintana and Y. pestis, which is prevalent in a highly plague-endemic area near the Rethy Health District, Orientale Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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