Article

Seroprevalence of antibodies against Bartonella species and evaluation of risk factors and clinical signs associated with seropositivity in dogs.

Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
American Journal of Veterinary Research (Impact Factor: 1.21). 04/2005; 66(4):688-94. DOI: 10.2460/ajvr.2005.66.688
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To determine the seroprevalence of antibodies against Bartonella spp in a population of sick dogs from northern California and identify potential risk factors and clinical signs associated with seropositivity.
Sera from 3,417 dogs.
Via an ELISA, sera were analyzed for antibodies against Bartonella vinsonii subsp berkhoffii, Bartonella clarridgeiae, and Bartonella henselae; test results were used to classify dogs as seropositive (mean optical density value > or = 0.350 for B henselae or > or = 0.300 for B clarridgeiae or B vinsonii subsp berkhoffi) or seronegative. Overall, 305 dogs (102 seropositive and 203 seronegative dogs) were included in a matched case-control study.
102 of 3,417 (2.99%) dogs were seropositive for > or = 1 species of Bartonella. Of these, 36 (35.3%) had antibodies against B henselae only, 34 (33.3%) had antibodies against B clarridgeiae only, 2 (2.0%) had antibodies against B vinsonii subsp berkhoffii only, and 30 (29.4%) had antibodies against a combination of those antigens. Compared with seronegative dogs, seropositive dogs were more likely to be herding dogs and to be female, whereas toy dogs were less likely to be seropositive. Seropositive dogs were also more likely to be lame or have arthritis-related lameness, nasal discharge or epistaxis, or splenomegaly.
Only a small percentage of dogs from which serum samples were obtained had antibodies against Bartonella spp. Breed appeared to be an important risk factor for seropositivity. Bartonella infection should be considered in dogs with clinical signs of lameness, arthritis-related lameness, nasal discharge or epistaxis, or splenomegaly.

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    • "Additionally, in the context of disease causation, the symptoms and pathology reported by chronically bacteraemic immunocompetent patients are in many instances similar to the clinical signs and pathological lesions found in dogs naturally infected with the same Bartonella species (Table 2). Although causation has not been validated scientifically for each of these entities (by the principles of evidence-based medicine), evolving comparative medical research observations increasingly support a primary or cofactor role for Bartonella spp. in the pathogenesis of a spectrum of chronic diseases in man and animals (Henn et al., 2005; Goodman and Breitschwerdt, 2005; Breitschwerdt et al., 2007, 2008, 2010a,b,c, 2011; Diniz et al., 2009; Maggi et al., 2011, 2012). Table 3 provides evidence of persistent intravascular infection with B. henselae in a human patient with seizures and a prior history of CSD. "
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    • "Although flea and tick exposure and residing in rural environments are defined risk factors associated with Bartonella henselae and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii exposure in dogs (Pappalardo et al. 1997, Henn et al. 2005), other studies have suggested that animal contact may represent an important risk factor for exposure and/or infection with these Bartonella sp. in immunocompetent patients (Kumasaka et al. 2001, Breitschwerdt et al. 2007). Several studies have implicated direct transmission of Bartonella sp. from dogs to humans (Keret et al. 1998, Tsukahara et al. 1998, Kerkhoff et al. 1999, Chen et al. 2007). "
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