To evaluate the risk for emerging human infections caused by zoonotic Bartonella spp. from exotic small mammals, we investigated the prevalence of Bartonella spp. in 546 small mammals (28 species) that had been imported into Japan as pets from Asia, North America, Europe, and the Middle and Near East. We obtained 407 Bartonella isolates and characterized them by molecular phylogenetic analysis of the citrate synthase gene, gltA. The animals examined carried 4 zoonotic Bartonella spp. that cause human endocarditis and neuroretinitis and 6 novel Bartonella spp. at a high prevalence (26.0%, 142/546). We conclude that exotic small mammals potentially serve as reservoirs of several zoonotic Bartonella spp
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