Molecular detection of Bartonella quintana, Acinetobacter baumannii and Acinetobacter haemolyticus in Pediculus humanus lice in Nigeria, West Africa

Joshua Kamani*, Yaarit Nachum-Biala, Laminu Bukar, Mike Shand, Shimon Harrus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The human lice Pediculus humanus is distributed worldwide but, it thrives and flourishes under conflict situations where people are forced to live in crowded unhygienic conditions. Molecular methods were used to identify and screen human lice for the DNA of pathogens of public health importance in an area that has been under insurgency related to religious and political conflicts with tens of thousands of internally displaced people (IDP). DNA of Bartonella quintana, Acinetobacter baumannii and Acinetobacter haemolyticus was detected in 18.3%, 40.0% and 1.7%, respectively, of human lice collected from children in Maiduguri, Nigeria. More body lice than head lice were positive for pathogen's DNA (64.3% vs. 44.4%; χ2 = 1.3, p = 0.33), but the difference was not significant. Two lice samples were found to harbour mixed DNA of B. quintana and A. baumannii. Phylogenetic analysis of the cytochrome b (cytb) gene sequences of the positive lice specimens placed them into clades A and E. This is the first report on the molecular identification of human lice and the detection of the DNA of pathogens of public health importance in lice in Nigeria, West Africa. The findings of this study will assist policy makers and medical practitioners in formulating a holistic healthcare delivery to IDPs.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)48-59
Number of pages12
JournalZoonoses and Public Health
Volume71
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Wiley-VCH GmbH.

Keywords

  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Acinetobacter haemolyticus
  • Bartonella quintana
  • Nigeria
  • Pediculus humanus
  • insurgency
  • zoonoses

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