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Members of the genus Bartonella (formerly Rochalimaea) were virtually unknown to modern-day clinicians and microbiologists until they were associated with opportunistic infections in AIDS patients about 6 years ago. Since that time, Bartonella species have been associated with cat scratch disease, bacillary angiomatosis, and a variety of other disease syndromes. Clinical presentation of infection with Bartonella ranges from a relatively mild lymphadenopathy with few other symptoms, seen in cat scratch disease, to life-threatening systemic disease in the immunocompromised patient. In some individuals, infection manifests as lesions that exhibit proliferation of endothelial cells and neovascularization, a pathogenic process unique to this genus of bacteria. As the spectrum of disease attributed to Bartonella is further defined, the need for reliable laboratory methods to diagnose infections caused by these unique organisms also increases. A brief summary of the clinical presentations associated with Bartonella infections is presented, and the current status of laboratory diagnosis and identification of these organisms is reviewed.