Patients with infection from bacteremic Bartonella spp., tested using Bartonella Alphaproteobacteria growth medium (BAPGM), were retrospectively categorized into one of two groups that included those whose blood was collected once (group 1; n = 55) or three times (group 2; n = 36) within a 1-week period. Overall, 19 patients (20.8%) were PCR positive for one or more Bartonella spp. using the BAPGM platform. Seven patients (12.7%) in group 1 tested positive, and 12 patients (33.3%) in group 2 tested positive. Detection was improved when the patients were tested three times within a 1-week period (odds ratio, 3.4 [95% confidence interval, 1.2 to 9.8]; P = 0.02). Obtaining three sequential blood samples during a 1-week period should be considered a diagnostic approach when bartonellosis is suspected.
Here, we report latent infections with Bartonella quintana and a hemotropic Mycoplasma sp. in a research colony of cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). Sequence alignments, evolutionary analysis, and signature nucleotide sequence motifs of the hemotropic Mycoplasma 16S rRNA and RNase P genes indicate the presence of a novel organism.
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius L.) have resurged in the United States and globally. Bed bugs are hematophagous ectoparasites of humans and other animals, including domestic pets, chickens, and bats, and their blood feeding habits contribute to their potential as disease vectors. Several species of Bartonella are re-emergent bacterial pathogens that also affect humans, domestic pets, bats and a number of other wildlife species. Because reports of both bed bugs and Bartonella have been increasing in the U.S., and because their host ranges can overlap, we investigated whether the resurgences of these medically important pathogens and their potential vector might be linked, by screening for Bartonella spp. in bed bugs collected from geographic areas where these pathogens are prevalent and from bed bugs that have been in culture in the laboratory for several years. We screened a total of 331 bed bugs: 316 bed bugs from 36 unique collections in 29 geographic locations in 13 states, 10 bed bugs from two colonies maintained in the laboratory for 3 yr, and 5 bed bugs from a colony that has been in culture since before the recent resurgence of bed bugs. Bartonella spp. DNA was screened using a polymerase chain reaction assay targeting the 16S–23S rRNA intergenic transcribed spacer region. Bartonella DNA was not amplified from any bed bug, but five bed bugs from four different apartments of an elderly housing building in North Carolina contained DNA sequences that corresponded to Burkholderia multivorans, an important pathogen in nosocomial infections that was not previously linked to an arthropod vector.
A novel strain of Mycobacterium iranicum, a recently described nontuberculous Mycobacterium species, was isolated from the sputum of a woman. The source of infection was not determined; however, fomite transmission of inhaled aerosolized secretions from her husband's sleep apnea equipment was historically possible.
During a two year period, a 27-year-old female veterinarian experienced migraine headaches, seizures, including status epilepticus, and other neurological and neurocognitive abnormalities. Prior to and during her illness, she had been actively involved in hospital-based work treating domestic animals, primarily cats and dogs, in Grenada and Ireland and anatomical research requiring the dissection of wild animals (including lions, giraffe, rabbits, mongoose, and other animals), mostly in South Africa. The woman reported contact with fleas, ticks, lice, biting flies, mosquitoes, spiders and mites and had also been scratched or bitten by dogs, cats, birds, horses, reptiles, rabbits and rodents. Prior diagnostic testing resulted in findings that were inconclusive or within normal reference ranges and no etiological diagnosis had been obtained to explain the patient’s symptoms.
PCR assays targeting Anaplasma spp. Bartonella spp. and hemotopic Mycoplasma spp. were used to test patient blood samples. PCR positive amplicons were sequenced directly and compared to GenBank sequences. In addition, Bartonella alpha Proteobacteria growth medium (BAPGM) enrichment blood culture was used to facilitate bacterial growth and Bartonella spp. serology was performed by indirect fluorescent antibody testing.
Anaplasma platys, Bartonella henselae and Candidatus Mycoplasma haematoparvum DNA was amplified and sequenced from the woman’s blood, serum or blood culture samples. Her serum was variably seroreactive to several Bartonella sp. antigens. Despite symptomatic improvement, six months of doxycycline most likely failed to eliminate the B. henselae infection, whereas A. platys and Candidatus M. haematoparvum DNA was no longer amplified from post-treatment samples.
As is typical of many veterinary professionals, this individual had frequent exposure to arthropod vectors and near daily contact with persistently bacteremic reservoir hosts, including cats, the primary reservoir host for B. henselae, and dogs, the presumed primary reservoir host for A. platys and Candidatus Mycoplasma haematoparvum. Physicians caring for veterinarians should be aware of the occupational zoonotic risks associated with the daily activities of these animal health professionals.
Bartonella; Mycoplasma; Anaplasma; Headache; Migraines; Seizures; Serology; PCR
In conjunction with efforts to assess pathogen exposure in feral pigs from the southeastern United States, we amplified Bartonella henselae, B. koehlerae, and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii from blood samples. Feral pigs may represent a zoonotic risk for hunters or butchers and pose a potential threat to domesticated livestock.
swine; pigs; Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii; Bartonella henselae; Bartonella koehlerae; bacteremia; bacteria; zoonoses; United States; dispatch
Bacteria; Bartonella; dementia; hallucinations; arthritis; vector; antibiotics; infection; disease; another dimension
Bartonellae are emerging vector-borne pathogens infecting erythrocytes and endothelial cells of various domestic and wild mammals. Blood samples were collected from domestic and wild canids in Iraq under the United States Army zoonotic disease surveillance program. Serology was performed using an indirect immunofluorescent antibody test for B. henselae, B. clarridgeiae, B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii and B. bovis. Overall seroprevalence was 47.4% in dogs (n = 97), 40.4% in jackals (n = 57) and 12.8% in red foxes (n = 39). Bartonella species DNA was amplified from whole blood and representative strains were sequenced. DNA of a new Bartonella species similar to but distinct from B. bovis, was amplified from 37.1% of the dogs and 12.3% of the jackals. B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii was also amplified from one jackal and no Bartonella DNA was amplified from foxes. Adjusting for age, the odds of dogs being Bartonella PCR positive were 11.94 times higher than for wild canids (95% CI: 4.55–31.35), suggesting their role as reservoir for this new Bartonella species. This study reports on the prevalence of Bartonella species in domestic and wild canids of Iraq and provides the first detection of Bartonella in jackals. We propose Candidatus Bartonella merieuxii for this new Bartonella species. Most of the Bartonella species identified in sick dogs are also pathogenic for humans. Therefore, seroprevalence in Iraqi dog owners and bacteremia in Iraqi people with unexplained fever or culture negative endocarditis requires further investigation as well as in United States military personnel who were stationed in Iraq. Finally, it will also be essential to test any dog brought back from Iraq to the USA for presence of Bartonella bacteremia to prevent any accidental introduction of a new Bartonella species to the New World.
Bartonellae are emerging vector-borne pathogens infecting erythrocytes and endothelial cells of various domestic and wild mammals. Blood samples were collected from domestic and wild canids in Iraq under the United States Army zoonotic disease surveillance program. Serology was performed using an indirect immunofluorescent antibody test for B. henselae, B. clarridgeiae, B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii and B. bovis. Overall seroprevalence was 47% in dogs (n = 97), 40% in jackals (n = 57) and 13% in red foxes (n = 39). Bartonella species DNA was amplified from whole blood and representative strains were sequenced. DNA of Candidatus Bartonella merieuxii, a new Bartonella species similar to but distinct from B. bovis, was amplified from 37% of the dogs and 12% of the jackals. B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii was also amplified from one jackal and no Bartonella DNA was amplified from foxes. Dogs were more likely to be Bartonella PCR positive than wild jackals and foxes, suggesting the role of dogs as reservoir for this new Bartonella species. As most Bartonella species isolated or detected in dogs are also infecting humans, it will be important to test Iraqi people, especially from Baghdad, and American veterans who served in Iraq for the presence of infection by Candidatus Bartonella merieuxii.
Candidatus Bartonella melophagi was isolated by blood culture from 2 women, 1 of whom was co-infected with B. henselae. Partial 16S rRNA, RNA polymerase B, and citrate synthase genes and 16S–23S internal transcribed spacer sequences indicated that human isolates were similar to Candidatus B. melophagi.
Bacteria; Bartonella; sheep; keds; B. melophagi; B. henselae; blood-borne infection; dispatch
Bartonella species, transmitted by arthropods or animal bites and scratches, are emerging pathogens in human and veterinary medicine. PCR and DNA sequencing were used to test oral swabs collected from dogs. Results indicated the presence of 4 Bartonella species: B. bovis, B. henselae, B. quintana, and B. vinsonii subspecies berkhoffii.
Bartonella DNA; dog saliva; emerging pathogens; dispatch
Loggerhead sea turtle; Bartonella; ITS region; Pap 31; Caretta caretta; PCR analysis
Using PCR in conjunction with pre-enrichment culture, we detected Bartonella henselae and B. vinsonii subspecies berkhoffii in the blood of 14 immunocompetent persons who had frequent animal contact and arthropod exposure.
Bartonella; culture; PCR; immunocompetent; fatigue; dispatch
Bartonella henselae and B. koehlerae bacteremia was documented in two epithelioid hemangioendothelioma patients and B. koehlerae bacteremia in an asymptomatic partner of one of the patients. Considering the biology and clinically variable natural history of epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, these results suggest that chronic Bartonella infection could have a role in the development of this vascular neoplasm. Bartonella spp. are known to induce vasoproliferative tumors in immunocompromised patients and may play a role in the development of epithelioid hemangioendothelioma in immunocompetent patients.
Prevalence of Bartonella spp. was high, especially among patients with a history of Lyme disease.
Bartonella spp. infection has been reported in association with an expanding spectrum of symptoms and lesions. Among 296 patients examined by a rheumatologist, prevalence of antibodies against Bartonella henselae, B. koehlerae, or B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii (185 [62%]) and Bartonella spp. bacteremia (122 [41.1%]) was high. Conditions diagnosed before referral included Lyme disease (46.6%), arthralgia/arthritis (20.6%), chronic fatigue (19.6%), and fibromyalgia (6.1%). B. henselae bacteremia was significantly associated with prior referral to a neurologist, most often for blurred vision, subcortical neurologic deficits, or numbness in the extremities, whereas B. koehlerae bacteremia was associated with examination by an infectious disease physician. This cross-sectional study cannot establish a causal link between Bartonella spp. infection and the high frequency of neurologic symptoms, myalgia, joint pain, or progressive arthropathy in this population; however, the contribution of Bartonella spp. infection, if any, to these symptoms should be systematically investigated.
Bartonella; bacteremia; blood; arthritis; myalgia; PCR; DNA sequencing; bacteria; Lyme disease; rheumatic; Lyme disease
We identified a Bartonella quintana strain by polymerase chain reaction amplification, cloning, and sequencing of DNA extracted from lysed erythrocytes and cultured colonies grown from peripheral blood collected from a captive-bred cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis). This report describes naturally acquired B. quintana infection in a nonhuman primate.
Bartonella quintana; Trench fever; Non-human reservoir; Cynomolgus monkey; Macaca fascicularis; Hemotropic organism; 16S ribosomal DNA; RNase P RNA 23S ribosomal DNA; 16-23S rDNA internally transcribed spacer region; gltA; dispatch
A young woman experiencing depression, anxiety, mood swings, severe headaches, muscle spasms, interphalangeal joint stiffness, decreased peripheral vision, diminished tactile sensation, and hallucinations was persistently Bartonella koehlerae seroreactive and bacteremic. Following antibiotic treatment, B. koehlerae antibodies and DNA were not detected and all symptoms resolved.
Bartonella henselae (B. henselae) is considered a rare cause of granulomatous hepatitis. Due to the fastidious growth characteristics of the bacteria, the limited sensitivity of histopathological stains, and the non-specific histological findings on liver biopsy, the diagnosis of hepatic bartonellosis can be difficult to establish. Furthermore, the optimal treatment of established hepatic bartonellosis remains controversial.
We present a case of hepatic bartonellosis in an immunocompetent woman who presented with right upper quadrant pain and a five cm right hepatic lobe mass on CT scan. The patient underwent a right hepatic lobectomy. Surgical pathology revealed florid necrotizing granulomatous hepatitis, favoring an infectious etiology. Despite extensive histological and serological evaluation a definitive diagnosis was not established initially. Thirteen months after initial presentation, hepatic bartonellosis was diagnosed by PCR studies from surgically excised liver tissue. Interestingly, the hepatic granulomas persisted and Bartonella henselae was isolated from the patient's enriched blood culture after several courses of antibiotic therapy.
The diagnosis of hepatic bartonellosis is exceedingly difficult to establish and requires a high degree of clinical suspicion. Recently developed, PCR-based approaches may be required in select patients to make the diagnosis. The optimal antimicrobial therapy for hepatic bartonellosis has not been established, and close follow-up is needed to ensure successful eradication of the infection.
Granulomatous hepatitis; Bartonella henselae; Diagnosis; Treatment
“Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis” is a new intracellular pathogen associated with human infection and death. “Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis” infection in a chronically neutropenic dog from Germany was confirmed by DNA sequencing. The same organism was previously described from ticks and two sick human beings from Germany.
During early urinary tract infection (UTI) the interplay between invading bacteria and the urothelium elicits a mucosal response aimed at clearing infection. Unfortunately, the resultant inflammation and associated local tissue injury are responsible for patient symptoms. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a cytokine released during acute UTI, has both pro- and anti-inflammatory effects on other body systems. Within the urothelium, the IL-6 native-tissue origin, the target cell type(s), and ultimate effect of the cytokine on target cells are largely unknown. In the present study we modeled the UTI IL-6 response ex vivo using canine bladder mucosa mounted in Ussing chambers to determine the inflammatory and reparative role of IL-6. We demonstrated that uropathogenic Escherichia coli infection stimulates the synthesis of IL-6 by all urothelial cell layers, with the urothelial cells alone representing the only site of unequivocal IL-6 receptor expression. Autocrine effects of IL-6 were supported by the activation of urothelial STAT3 signaling and SOCS3 expression. Using exogenous IL-6, a microarray approach, and quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (q-RT-PCR), 5 target genes (tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-1β, matrix metallopeptidase 2, heparan sulfate d-glucosaminyl 3-O-sulfotransferase 3A1, and hyaluronan synthase 2) that have direct or indirect roles in promoting a proinflammatory state were identified. Two of these genes, heparan sulfate d-glucosaminyl 3-O-sulfotransferase 3A1 and hyaluronan synthase 2, are also potentially important mediators of wound repair via the production of glycosaminoglycan components. These findings suggest that IL-6 secretion during acute UTI may serve a dual biological role by initiating the inflammatory response while also repairing urothelial defenses.
Urinary tract disease is a common reason for use (and likely misuse, improper use, and overuse) of antimicrobials in dogs and cats. There is a lack of comprehensive treatment guidelines such as those that are available for human medicine. Accordingly, guidelines for diagnosis and management of urinary tract infections were created by a Working Group of the International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases. While objective data are currently limited, these guidelines provide information to assist in the diagnosis and management of upper and lower urinary tract infections in dogs and cats.
Only indirect or circumstantial evidence has been published to support transmission of Rickettsia rickettsii by Amblyomma americanum (lone star) ticks in North America. This study provides molecular evidence that A. americanum ticks can function, although most likely infrequently, as vectors of Rocky Mountain spotted fever for humans.
ticks; disease; rickettsia; rash; thrombocytopenia; bacteria; lone star tick; North Carolina; vector-borne infections; dispatch
Two variants of an organism resembling the ovine hemoplasma, Mycoplasma ovis, were detected by PCR in blood samples from a veterinarian in Texas. Coinfection with similar variants has been described in sheep. This represents the first report of human infection with this organism. The veterinarian was coinfected with Bartonella henselae.
Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii, Bartonella henselae, or DNA of both organisms was amplified and sequenced from blood, enrichment blood cultures, or autopsy tissues from four family members. Historical and microbiological results support perinatal transmission of Bartonella species in this family. It is of clinical relevance that Bartonella spp. may adversely influence human reproductive performance.
Bartonella spp. can cause persistent bloodstream infections in humans and animals. To determine whether Bartonella henselae is present in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks, we analyzed the prevalence of B. henselae DNA among tick stages compared to the prevalence of DNA from Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the pathogen most frequently transmitted by ticks. B. henselae DNA was present with a prevalence of up to ∼40% in tick populations sampled in four European sites (Eberdingen, Germany; Klasdorf, Germany; Lembach, France; and Madeira, Portugal). The odds of detecting B. henselae DNA in nymphal ticks was ∼14-fold higher than in adult ticks. No tick was found to be coinfected with B. henselae and B. burgdorferi sensu lato. Taken together, our data indicate that ticks might serve as a vector for the transmission of B. henselae to humans.
Cats appear to be the primary reservoir host for Bartonella koehlerae, an alpha Proteobacteria that is most likely transmitted among cat populations by fleas (Ctenocephalides felis). Bartonella koehlerae has caused endocarditis in a dog and in one human patient from Israel, but other clinically relevant reports involving this bacterium are lacking. Despite publication of numerous, worldwide epidemiological studies designed to determine the prevalence of Bartonella spp. bacteremia in cats, B. koehlerae has never been isolated using conventional blood agar plates. To date, successful isolation of B. koehlerae from cats and from the one human endocarditis patient has consistently required the use of chocolate agar plates.
In this study, Bartonella koehlerae bacteremia was documented in eight immunocompetent patients by PCR amplification and DNA sequencing, either prior to or after enrichment blood culture using Bartonella alpha Proteobacteria growth medium. Presenting symptoms most often included fatigue, insomnia, joint pain, headache, memory loss, and muscle pain. Four patients were also infected with Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii genotype II. After molecular documentation of B. koehlerae infection in these patients, a serological test was developed and serum samples were tested retrospectively. Bartonella koehlerae antibodies were not detected (titers < 1:16) in 30 healthy human control sera, whereas five of eight patient samples had B. koehlerae antibody titers of 1:64 or greater.
Although biased by a study population consisting of individuals with extensive arthropod and animal exposure, the results of this study suggest that B. koehlerae bacteremia is more common in immunocompetent people than has been previously suspected. Future studies should more thoroughly define modes of transmission and risk factors for acquiring infection with B. koehlerae. In addition, studies are needed to determine if B. koehlerae is a cause or cofactor in the development of arthritis, peripheral neuropathies or tachyarrhythmias in patients.