Prevalence of antibodies anti-Bartonella henselae in Western Sicily: Children, blood donors, and cats

Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e delle Patologie Emergenti, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
Journal of Immunoassay and Immunochemistry (Impact Factor: 0.73). 01/2012; 33(1):18-25. DOI: 10.1080/15321819.2011.591476
Source: PubMed


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.

Download full-text


Available from: Enrico Cillari, Oct 26, 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We report a case of a 57-year-old immunocompetent male, admitted to our Department due to the loss of visual acuity to the right eye, occurred during the two weeks before the hospitalization, and hyperglycaemia. Our patient suffered from metabolic syndrome, characterized by visceral obesity, impaired glucose tolerance, arterial hypertension, complicated by proteinuria, and moderate grade hypertensive retinopathy. Surprisingly, and despite its many comorbidities, the final diagnosis was neuroretinitis by Bartonella henselae, without any other symptoms/signs of cat-scratch disease. The patient denied any kind of contact with cats. He was cured by specific antibiotic therapy, restoring status 'quo ante'.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Acta Medica Mediterranea
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · Acta Tropica
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Bartonella species cause several diseases in humans such as cat stratch disease, bacillary angiomatosis, peliosis hepatis, endocarditis, Carrion disease and trench fever. Cat scratch disease and bacillary angiomatosis cases have already been reported in Turkey. Studies from our region, namely Aydin (a province located at Western Anatolia, Turkey) indicated that mean Bartonella henselae IgG seropositivity rate is 11.5% in risk groups and may reach to 26.5% in pet owners. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of B.henselae and B.quintana in healthy blood donors in our university hospital in Aydin, for estimating the transmission risk via transfusion. The study was designed as a cross-sectional epidemiological study. A total of 333 samples taken from blood donors (49 female, 284 male) who were sequentially admitted to the blood center of the university hospital, in January 2011 were included in the study. All sera were screened in terms of B.henselae and Bartonella quintana IgG antibodies by using two different indirect immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) commercial kits (Vircell, Spain; Focus, USA). Slides were examined at a final magnification of x400 on fluorescent microscope by two different assigned researchers. Fluorescent intensity was graded between 1+ to 4+, and the samples with fluorescence value of ≥ 2+ were considered as positive. The seropositivity rate of IgG antibodies to B.henselae was found as 3.3% (11/333) in blood donors. This rate was 4.1% in female, and 3.2% in male donors, showing no statistically significant difference between the genders (p= 0.668). B.henselae antibody titers were detected as 1/64 in 6 (1.8%), 1/128 in 4 (1.2%) and 1/1024 in 1 (0.3%) patient. All of the B.henselae IgG positive samples also yielded relatively low positivity for B.quintana IgG, possibly indicating cross reactivity. The fluorescence intensity for different kits used was found to be the same in all but one titer. The results reported by two researchers were found to differ only in the samples graded 1+ or below. However, the evaluation differences between the kits and the researchers did not affect the results. It was concluded that B.henselae infection might be found in the blood donors in our region, thus, a detailed questionnaire prior to blood donation might be helpful to prevent transmission of B.henselae by blood transfusion.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Mikrobiyoloji bülteni
Show more