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Bartonella henselae expresses pili phenotypically similar to type 4 pili. B. henselae pilus expression undergoes phase variation with multiple passages. Low-passage-number, piliated B. henselae adhered to and invaded HEp-2 cells to a greater extent than did multiply passaged B. henselae with reduced pilus expression. Pili may be a pathogenic determinant for Bartonella species.