Geographically widespread and novel hemotropic mycoplasmas and bartonellae in Mexican free-tailed bats and sympatric North American bat species. Academic Article uri icon


  • Bacterial pathogens remain poorly characterized in bats, especially in North America. We describe novel (and in some cases panmictic) hemoplasmas (12.9% positivity) and bartonellae (16.7% positivity) across three colonies of Mexican free-tailed bats ( Tadarida brasiliensis ), a partially migratory species that can seasonally travel hundreds of kilometers. Molecular analyses identified three novel Candidatus hemoplasma species most similar to another novel Candidatus species in Neotropical molossid bats. We also detected novel hemoplasmas in sympatric cave myotis ( Myotis velifer ) and pallid bats ( Antrozous pallidus ), with sequences in the latter 96.5% related to C . Mycoplasma haemohominis. We identified eight Bartonella genotypes, including those in cave myotis, with 96.7% similarity to C . Bartonella mayotimonensis. We also detected Bartonella rochalimae in migratory Tadarida brasiliensis , representing the first report of this human pathogen in bats. The seasonality and diversity of these bacteria observed here suggest that additional longitudinal, genomic, and immunological studies in bats are warranted.

published proceedings

  • bioRxiv

altmetric score

  • 14.55

author list (cited authors)

  • Becker, D. J., Dyer, K. E., Lock, L. R., Pladas, S. A., Sukhadia, A. A., Demory, B., ... Volokhov, D. V.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Becker, Daniel J||Dyer, Kristin E||Lock, Lauren R||Pladas, Shawn A||Sukhadia, Anushka A||Demory, Bret||Nunes Batista, Juliana Maria||Pineda, Micaela||Simmons, Nancy B||Adams, Amanda M||Frick, Winifred F||O'Mara, M Teague||Volokhov, Dmitriy V

publication date

  • February 2024