A working hypothesis is that less common species of Campylobacter (other than C. jejuni and C. coli) play a role in enteric disease among children in low resource settings and explain the gap between the detection of Campylobacter using culture and culture independent methods. “Candidatus Campylobacter infans” (C. infans), was recently detected in stool samples from children and hypothesized to play a role in Campylobacter epidemiology in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). This study determined the prevalence of C. infans in symptomatic and asymptomatic stool samples from children living in Iquitos, Peru. Stool samples from 215 children with diarrhea and 50 stool samples from children without diarrhea under the age of two were evaluated using a multiplex qPCR assay to detect Campylobacter spp. (16S rRNA), Campylobacter jejuni / Campylobacter coli (cadF gene), C. infans (lpxA), and Shigella spp. (ipaH). C. infans was detected in 7.9% (17/215) symptomatic samples and 4.0% (2/50) asymptomatic samples. The association between diarrhea and the presence of these targets was evaluated using univariate logistic regressions. C. infans was not associated with diarrhea. Fifty-one percent (75/146) of Campylobacter positive fecal samples were negative for C. jejuni, C. coli, and C. infans via qPCR. Shotgun metagenomics confirmed the presence of C. infans among 13 out of 14 positive C. infans positive stool samples. C infans explained only 20.7% of the diagnostic gap in stools from children with diarrhea and 16.7% of the gap in children without diarrhea. We posit that poor cadF primer performance better explains the observed gap than the prevalence of atypical non-C. jejuni/coli species.
Anaplasmosis, caused by infection with bacteria of the genus Anaplasma, is an important veterinary and zoonotic disease. Transmission by ticks has been characterized but little is known about non-tick vectors of livestock anaplasmosis. This study investigated the presence of Anaplasma spp. in camels in northern Kenya and whether the hematophagous camel ked, Hippobosca camelina, acts as a vector. Camels (n = 976) and > 10,000 keds were sampled over a three-year study period and the presence of Anaplasma species was determined by PCR-based assays targeting the Anaplasmataceae 16S rRNA gene. Camels were infected by a single species of Anaplasma, ‘Candidatus Anaplasma camelii’, with infection rates ranging from 63–78% during the dry (September 2017), wet (June-July 2018), and late wet seasons (July-August 2019). 10–29% of camel keds harbored ‘Ca. Anaplasma camelii’ acquired from infected camels during blood feeding. We determined that Anaplasma-positive camel keds could transmit ‘Ca. Anaplasma camelii’ to mice and rabbits via blood-feeding. We show competence in pathogen transmission and subsequent infection in mice and rabbits by microscopic observation in blood smears and by PCR. Transmission of ‘Ca. Anaplasma camelii’ to mice (8–47%) and rabbits (25%) occurred readily after ked bites. Hence, we demonstrate, for the first time, the potential of H. camelina as a vector of anaplasmosis. This key finding provides the rationale for establishing ked control programmes for improvement of livestock and human health.