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.
"Another study reported thrombocytopenia in 44% of Bartonella henselae (Bh) seroreactive dogs . A seroepidemiological study from the University of California at Davis found highly variable clinicopathological abnormalities among individual dogs and only eosinophilia was significantly associated with Bartonella seroreactivity . Because similar clinicopathologic abnormalities occur frequently in dogs infected with other vector-borne pathogens  , dogs suspected to have a tick borne infection were selected as a control group for this study. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We compared clinicopathologic findings in dogs with Bartonella infection to Bartonella spp. negative dogs suspected of a vector-borne disease. Cases (n=47) and controls (n=93) were selected on the basis of positive or negative enrichment culture PCR results, respectively. Signalment, clinicopathologic findings and treatments were extracted from medical records. DNA sequencing identified Bartonella henselae (n=28, 59.6%), Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii (n=20, 42.6%), Bartonella koehlerae (n=3, 6.4%), Bartonella volans-like (n=3, 6.4%) and Bartonella bovis (n=1, 2.1%). There were no significant differences in age, breed, size, sex or neuter status between cases and controls. Dogs infected with Bartonella sp. often had a history of weight loss [OR=2.82; 95% CI: 1.08-7.56] and were hypoglobulinemic [OR=4.26; 95% CI: 1.31-14.41]. With the exception of weight loss and hypoglobulinemia, clinicopathologic abnormalities in Bartonella-infected dogs in this study were similar to dogs suspected of other vector-borne infections.
"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. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In his homage to Lucretius ('Georgica'), Vergil is credited with stating: 'Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas' ('Fortunate is he who knows the causes of things'). Based on numerous commentaries and publications it is obvious that clinicians, diagnosticians and biomedical research scientists continue to struggle with disease causation, particularly in the assessment of the pathogenic role of 'stealth pathogens' that produce persistent infections in the host. Bartonella species, because of their evolutionary ability to induce persistent intravascular infections, present substantial challenges for researchers attempting to clarify the ability of these stealth bacteria to cause disease. By studying the comparative biological and pathological behaviour of microbes across mammalian genera, researchers might be able more rapidly to advance medical science and, subsequently, patient care by undertaking focused research efforts involving a single mammalian species or by attempting to recapitulate a complex disease in an rodent model. Therefore, in an effort to further assist in the establishment of disease causation by stealth pathogens, we use recent research observations involving the genus Bartonella to propose an additional postulate of comparative infectious disease causation to Koch's postulates.
"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). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bartonella species comprise a genus of gram-negative, fastidious, intracellular bacteria that have been implicated in association with an increasing spectrum of disease manifestations in dogs and human patients. In this study, chronic canine and human disease, for which causation was not diagnostically defined, were reported by the breeder of a kennel of Doberman pinschers. In addition to other diagnostic tests, serology, polymerase chain reaction, and enrichment blood culture were used to assess the prevalence of Bartonella sp. infection in the dogs and their owner. From five dogs, Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii genotype I, multiple Bartonella henselae strains, and a species most similar to Candidatus B. volans, a rodent-associated Bartonella sp., were amplified and sequenced from biopsy tissues, cerebrospinal fluid, or blood enrichment cultures. The owner was bacteremic with B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii genotype I, the same subsp. and genotype detected in one of her dogs. These results further emphasize the ecological complexity of Bartonella sp. transmission in nature.
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