Bartonella Spp. in Pets and Effect on Human Health

Department of Population Health and Reproduction, University of California School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis, California 95616, USA.
Emerging infectious diseases (Impact Factor: 7.33). 04/2006; 12(3):389-94. DOI: 10.3201/eid1205.050931
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Among the many mammals infected with Bartonella spp., pets represent a large reservoir for human infection because most Bartonella spp. infecting them are zoonotic. Cats are the main reservoir for Bartonella henselae, B. clarridgeiae, and B. koehlerae. Dogs can be infected with B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii, B. henselae, B. clarridgeiae, B. washoensis, B. elizabethae, and B. quintana. The role of dogs as an important reservoir of Bartonella spp. is less clear than for cats because domestic dogs are more likely to be accidental hosts, at least in nontropical regions. Nevertheless, dogs are excellent sentinels for human infections because a similar disease spectrum develops in dogs. Transmission of B. henselae by cat fleas is better understood, although new potential vectors (ticks and biting flies) have been identified. We review current knowledge on the etiologic agents, clinical features, and epidemiologic characteristics of these emerging zoonoses.

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Available from: Bruno Chomel, Jul 21, 2015
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    • "Chronic bacteraemia developed in some patients (Brouqui et al. 1999), and chronic asymptomatic bacteraemia in humans indicated that humans may be the natural reservoir of B. quintana (Foucault et al. 2002). Although humans are a primary reservoir host for B. quintana, some recent reports have found B. quintana in cat teeth (La et al. 2005), in dogs and in cynomolgus and rhesus macaques (Chomel et al. 2006; Huang et al. 2011; Li et al. 2012, 2013). Our results indicate that other arthropods, such as fleas, may acquire B. quintana and then excrete it in its faeces. "
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    ABSTRACT: Bartonella quintana is transmitted by the infected feces of body lice. Recently, this bacterium was detected in cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) and in two humans with chronic adenopathy whose only risk factor was contact with cat fleas. In this study, a total of 960 C. felis were divided into 12 groups (2 control groups and 10 infected groups) each containing 80 fleas. The fleas were fed B. quintana inoculated human blood at different dilutions (≈3.6x10(4) - 8.4x10(9) bacteria) for 4 days via an artificial membrane. Subsequently, all flea groups were fed uninfected blood until day 13 post infection (dpi). On day 3 pi, B. quintana was detected with two specific genes by quantitative-PCR in 60-100% of randomly chosen fleas per dilution: 52% (26/50) in the infected fleas in Trial 1, and 90% (45/50) of the fleas in Trial 2. B. quintana was also identified by molecular and culture assays in flea feces. The average number of B. quintana as determined by qPCR decreased until the 11(th) dpi and was absent in both trials at the 13(th) dpi. Bacteria were localized only in the flea gastrointestinal gut by specific immunohistochemistry. Our results indicate that cat fleas can acquire B. quintana by feeding and release viable organisms into their feces. Therefore, fleas may play a role as vectors of trench fever or other clinical manifestations that are caused by B. quintana. However, the biological role of C. felis in the transmission of B. quintana under natural conditions is yet to be defined. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Molecular Ecology 01/2014; 23(5). DOI:10.1111/mec.12663 · 5.84 Impact Factor
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    • "In dogs it causes endocarditis (Chomel et al., 2001) and might cause disease in cats or other animals. Several species of fleas, including C. felis, have been incriminated as vectors of B. clarridgeiae (Chomel et al., 2006). B. clarridgeiae was recently reported from C. felis in Tahiti, French Polynesia (Kernif et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Surveys for ectoparasites of dogs on the American Samoa islands of Aunu'u and Tutuila were conducted in June 2012, and was followed by molecular screening of samples. One species of flea, Ctenocephalides felis, and one tick species, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, were collected and tested for Bartonella and Rickettsia species via PCR. Bartonella clarridgeiae and an unnamed spotted fever group Rickettsia were detected in the fleas; the Rickettsia species was previously reported from Ctenocephalides spp. from Egypt, Thailand, USA, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. None of the ticks were positive for Bartonella or Rickettsia species. This is the first report of flea-borne Rickettsia and B. clarridgeiae, considered an emerging human pathogen in New Zealand, from American Samoa. Ectoparasite-borne infections are easily misdiagnosed or ignored as their symptoms are often vague and similar to other illnesses (e.g., measles, dengue). Our results indicate a potential threat to human and animal health as infected fleas were collected from household pets.
    Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 12/2013; 16(4):461–463. DOI:10.1016/j.aspen.2013.06.005 · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    • "The genus Bartonella includes facultative intracellular bacteria belonging to the alpha-2 subgroup of proteobacteria , and more than 22 Bartonella species have been described, of which at least half have been implicated or confirmed as human pathogens (Chomel et al., 2006). Cats are well known reservoirs of B. henselae, and its transmission is reported to occur through scratches or bites, as supported by PCR evidence showing the presence of B. henselae in cat tooth pulp (Aboudharam et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Systemic Bartonella henselae infections are unusual in immunocompetent adults. However, here we report one such case of bartonellosis in a 34-year-old patient, who presented with fever and multinodular splenomegaly. We also describe a novel method of identifying Bartonella henselae by Real-Time Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction and sequencing of amplified products. This could prevent splenic bartonellosis being mistaken for lymphoma and thereby avert unnecessary splenectomy.
    Journal of Medical Microbiology 03/2013; DOI:10.1099/jmm.0.050617-0 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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