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.
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
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
Bacteria; Bartonella; dementia; hallucinations; arthritis; vector; antibiotics; infection; disease; another dimension
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.
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 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
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
“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.
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
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.
Using Bartonella henselae isolates from cats and a human, the activity of pradofloxacin was compared with those of enrofloxacin and azithromycin. By Etest and disc diffusion assay, pradofloxacin showed greater antimicrobial activity than did other antibiotics. We conclude that pradofloxacin may prove useful for the treatment of B. henselae infections.
Canine vector-borne diseases (CVBDs) pose a diagnostic challenge, particularly when a dog is coinfected with more than one pathogen. The purpose of this study was to generate information about the diagnosis of CVBDs in young dogs following their first exposure to flea, tick, sand fly, louse, and mosquito vectors. From March 2008 to May 2009, 10 purpose-bred young naive beagle dogs and a cohort of 48 mixed-breed dogs living in an area to which CVBD is endemic in southern Italy were monitored using different diagnostic tests (cytology, serology, and PCR). Overall, PCR detected the highest number of dogs infected with Anaplasma platys, Babesia vogeli, and Ehrlichia canis, whereas seroconversion was a more sensitive indicator of exposure to Leishmania infantum. For A. platys infection, combining blood and buffy coat cytology in parallel enhanced the relative sensitivity (SErel) (87.3%). For B. vogeli, the best diagnostic combination was buffy coat cytology and serology used in parallel (SErel, 67.5%), whereas serology and PCR used in parallel (SErel, 100%) was the best combination for L. infantum. Overall, 12 (20.7%) dogs were coinfected; however, the percentage of new coinfections decreased from baseline (50%) to the first (33.3%) and second (16.6%) follow-up time points. Numbers of coinfections with A. platys and B. vogeli were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than coinfections with other pathogen combinations. The data generated in this study provide insights on the incidence of certain pathogens infecting young dogs in southern Italy, highlight important diagnostic testing limitations, and support the use of multiple diagnostic modalities when attempting to confirm a tick-borne infection in an individual dog or in a canine population.
Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii is an important, emerging, intravascular bacterial pathogen that has been recently isolated from immunocompetent patients with endocarditis, arthritis, neurological disease and vasoproliferative neoplasia. Vector transmission is suspected among dogs and wild canines, which are the primary reservoir hosts. This investigation was initiated to determine if pets and family members were infected with one or more Bartonella species.
PCR and enrichment blood culture in Bartonella alpha Proteobacteria growth medium (BAPGM) was used to determine infection status. Antibody titers to B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii genotypes I-III and B. henselae were determined using a previously described indirect fluorescent antibody test. Two patients were tested sequentially for over a year to assess the response to antibiotic treatment.
Intravascular infection with B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii genotype II and Bartonella henselae (Houston 1 strain) were confirmed in a veterinarian and his daughter by enrichment blood culture, followed by PCR and DNA sequencing. Symptoms included progressive weight loss, muscle weakness, lack of coordination (the father) and headaches, muscle pain and insomnia (the daughter). B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii genotype II was also sequenced from a cerebrospinal fluid BAPGM enrichment culture and from a periodontal swab sample. After repeated courses of antibiotics, post-treatment blood cultures were negative, there was a decremental decrease in antibody titers to non-detectable levels and symptoms resolved in both patients.
B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii and B. henselae are zoonotic pathogens that can be isolated from the blood of immunocompetent family members with arthralgias, fatigue and neurological symptoms. Therapeutic elimination of Bartonella spp. infections can be challenging, and follow-up testing is recommended. An increasing number of arthropod vectors, including biting flies, fleas, keds, lice, sandflies and ticks have been confirmed or are suspected as the primary mode of transmission of Bartonella species among animal populations and may also pose a risk to human beings.
Although possible, tick transmission to a vertebrate host has not been proven.
As worldwide vectors of human infectious diseases, ticks are considered to be second only to mosquitoes. Each tick species has preferred environmental conditions and biotopes that determine its geographic distribution, the pathogens it vectors, and the areas that pose risk for tick-borne diseases. Researchers have identified an increasing number of bacterial pathogens that are transmitted by ticks, including Anaplasma, Borrelia, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia spp. Recent reports involving humans and canines suggest that ticks should be considered as potential vectors of Bartonella spp. To strengthen this suggestion, numerous molecular surveys to detect Bartonella DNA in ticks have been conducted. However, there is little evidence that Bartonella spp. can replicate within ticks and no definitive evidence of transmission by a tick to a vertebrate host.
Bartonella species; ticks; PCR; arthropod vector; transmission; bacteria; parasites; perspective
In this report, we describe isolation of Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii genotype II from a boy with epithelioid hemangioendothelioma and a dog with hemangiopericytoma. These results suggest that B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii may cause vasoproliferative lesions in both humans and dogs.