Prevalence of antibodies anti-Bartonella henselae in western Sicily: children, blood donors, and cats.
ABSTRACT To evaluate seroprevalence of B. henselae infection both in Sicilian children and healthy blood donors. Furthermore, circulation of Bartonella in the natural reservoir was also studied. Two hundred forty-three children, living in Sicily (Palermo), affected by various diseases, without clinical features suggesting B. henselae infection, together with 122 healthy blood donors were serologically investigated for IgG and IgM antibodies by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). One hundred twenty stray and 62 pet cats were also analyzed only for IgG. Among children 25.1% had IgG antibodies to B. henselae; 18.5% showed a titer 1:64, 2.4% 1:128, 2.4% 1:256, 0.8% 1:512, 0.4% 1:1024, and 0.4% 1:5120. Among healthy blood donors 11.4% had IgG class antibodies to B. henselae; 9.8% showed a titer 1:64 and 1.6% 1:128. All the human serum samples did not show positive results for B. henselae IgM class antibodies. Stray cats (68.3%) and pet cats (35.4%) also had IgG class antibodies to B. henselae. We demonstrated high frequency of serologic evidence of past B. henselae infection, in young Italian children, affected by various diseases, apparently free of any clinical features suggesting B. henselae infection. This observation is supported by high circulation of Bartonella in cats.
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ABSTRACT: The role of arboviruses causing acute febrile illness in sub-Saharan Africa is receiving more attention. Reports of dengue in tourists were published nearly 10 years ago in Namibia, but the current epidemiology of arboviruses is unknown and surveys of mosquito vectors have not been carried out since the 1950s. To begin addressing this knowledge gap, a prospective cross-sectional study was conducted using samples from volunteer blood donors linked to questionnaire. Serum samples were tested using a Dengue IgG Indirect ELISA which measured exposure to dengue virus/flaviviruses. Entomological samples were collected from tires during the rainy season (Feb/March 2012) in six locations across Namibia's capital city, Windhoek. Among 312 blood donors tested, twenty-five (8.0%) were positive for dengue virus/flavivirus exposure. The only significant risk factor was age group with high exposure rates among those older than 50 (29%) compared with those below 40 years old (between 2.9% and 8.3%) (P<0.002). Larvae and pupae of Ae. aegypti and Culex pipiens complex accounted for 100% of the 2,751 samples collected, of which only 12.2% (n=336) were Ae. aegypti. Each site demonstrated high variability of species composition between sampling times. While the significant dengue virus/flavivirus exposure rate among those above 50 years old is likely indicative of the West Nile epidemic in the 70s and 80s, the low exposure among those under 50 suggests that flaviviruses are still circulating in Namibia. While Ae. aegypti and Culex pipiens sp. may play a role in future epidemics, the significance of presence may be reduced due to short rain periods, dry, arid, cold winters and policies and social understandings that limit non-structured storage and use of tires in low income areas. Future studies should further characterize the circulating arboviruses and investigate mosquito ecology nationally to map areas at higher risk for future arbovirus outbreaks.Acta tropica. 05/2014;