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Chapter 61 – Bartonellosis, Cat-scratch Disease, Trench Fever, Human Ehrlichiosis

Geoffrey M. Scott


Bartonella resembles Rickettsia: both are minute, pleomorphic, Gram-negative and, although found intracellularly in vivo, are able to grow on solid media.[1,2] Recent work has shown a link between Bartonella bacilliformis (the type species, the cause of Oroya fever and verruga peruana) and organisms variously thought to cause cat-scratch disease or bacillary angiomatosis (Bartonella henselae). B. bacilliformis is closely related to Bartonella (formerly Rochilimaea) quintana[3] by 16S cDNA hybridization[2] and to Brucella abortus, but a probe to detect a conserved region of B. bacilliformis by polymerase chain reaction from clinical specimens failed to recognize Brucella abortus.[3] Bartonellae are sufficiently removed from the Brucella and Rickettsia to be considered a separate genus. An important property of bartonellae is chronic persistent or intermittent bacteraemia in the definitive host.