Bartonelloses: History of a hidden pandemic

CME Pending. This module provides an overview of the history of Bartonella spp infection, from the discovery of Carrion’s disease in South America through trench fever in WWI and the etiology of cat scratch disease in HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Edward Breitschwerdt, DVM
Melanie S. Steele Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases
Comparative Medicine Institute
NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine

This module provides an overview of the history of Bartonella spp infection, from the discovery of Carrion’s disease in South America through trench fever in WWI and the etiology of cat scratch disease in HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Learning objectives:

  1. Describe the medically relevant history of bartonelloses prior to the recognition of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) epidemic in the 1980’s
  2. Describe the “rediscovery” of the genus Bartonella as a consequence of the AIDS epidemic
  3. Describe the medical history associated with the discovery of Cat Scratch Disease and the eventual identification of Bartonella henselae as the definitive causative agent.

Application for CME credit has been filed with the American Academy of Family Physicians. Determination of credit is pending.

Evidence-based bibliography for further study

Bafna, S. and Lee, A.G., 1996. Bilateral optic disc edema and multifocal retinal lesions without loss of vision in cat scratch disease. Archives of Ophthalmology, 114(8), pp.1016-1017. 

Breitschwerdt, E.B., Maggi, R.G., Sigmon, B. and Nicholson, W.L., 2007. Isolation of Bartonella quintana from a woman and a cat following putative bite transmission. Journal of clinical microbiology, 45(1), pp.270-272. 

Daszak, P., Cunningham, A.A. and Hyatt, A.D., 2000. Emerging infectious diseases of wildlife–threats to biodiversity and human health. science, 287(5452), pp.443-449.

Golnick K.C., Marotto M.E., Fanous M.M., et al., 1994. Ophthalmic manifestations of Rochalimaea species. Am J Ophthalmol 330, pp. 1509-15. 

Jackson, L.A., Perkins, B.A. and Wenger, J.D., 1993. Cat scratch disease in the United States: an analysis of three national databases. American Journal of Public Health, 83(12), pp.1707-1711. 

Kordick, D.L., Wilson, K.H., Sexton, D.J., Hadfield, T.L., Berkhoff, H.A. and Breitschwerdt, E.B., 1995. Prolonged Bartonella bacteremia in cats associated with cat-scratch disease patients. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 33(12), pp.3245-3251.

Kordick, D.L., Brown, T.T., Shin, K. and Breitschwerdt, E.B., 1999. Clinical and Pathologic Evaluation of ChronicBartonella henselae or Bartonella clarridgeiaeInfection in Cats. Journal of clinical microbiology, 37(5), pp.1536-1547. 

Regnery, R.L., Olson, J.G., Perkins, B.A. and Bibb, W., 1992. Serological response to” Rochalimaea henselae” antigen in suspected cat-scratch disease. The Lancet, 339(8807), pp.1443-1445. 

Relman, D.A., Loutit, J.S., Schmidt, T.M., Falkow, S. and Tompkins, L.S., 1990. The agent of bacillary angiomatosis: an approach to the identification of uncultured pathogens. New England Journal of Medicine, 323(23), pp.1573-1580.

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Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • 2 Quizzes
  • Course Certificate