Bartonelloses: Vectors and other modes of transmission

1.0 CME. This module provides an overview of key vectors and modes of transmission associated with Bartonella spp. infection, with special attention to ongoing debates surrounding tick transmission, perinatal transmission, and other modes, like transfusion and needlesticks.

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 key vectors and modes of transmission associated with Bartonella spp. infection, with special attention to ongoing debates surrounding tick transmission, perinatal transmission, and other modes, like transfusion and needlesticks.

Learning objectives:

  1. Describe the vectors that are known to be competent for Bartonella spp. transmission
  2. Describe the historical controversy and current understanding of tick transmission of Bartonella spp.
  3. Describe transmission of Bartonella spp. by modes other than vectors

This session, Bartonelloses: Vectors and other modes of transmission, is approved for 1.0 enduring AAFP Prescribed credit.

AAFP Prescribed credit is accepted by the American Medical Association as equivalent to AMA PRA Category 1 credit(s)™ toward the AMA Physician’s Recognition Award. When applying for the AMA PRA, Prescribed credit earned must be reported as Prescribed, not as Category 1.

The AAFP has reviewed One Health Medical Education for a Changing Climate, and deemed it acceptable for AAFP credit. Term of approval is from 01/02/2023 to 01/01/2024. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Evidence-based bibliography for further study

Angelakis, E., Edouard, S., La Scola, B. and Raoult, D., 2010. Bartonella henselae in skin biopsy specimens of patients with cat-scratch disease. Emerging infectious diseases, 16(12), p.1963. 

Billeter, S.A., Levy, M.G., Chomel, B.B. and Breitschwerdt, E.B., 2008. Vector transmission of Bartonella species with emphasis on the potential for tick transmission. Medical and veterinary entomology, 22(1), pp.1-15. 

Bradley, J.M., Mascarelli, P.E., Trull, C.L., Maggi, R.G. and Breitschwerdt, E.B., 2014. Bartonella henselae infections in an owner and two Papillon dogs exposed to tropical rat mites (Ornithonyssus bacoti). Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 14(10), pp.703-709. 

Breitschwerdt, E.B., Maggi, R.G., Farmer, P. and Mascarelli, P.E., 2010. Molecular evidence of perinatal transmission of Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii and Bartonella henselae to a child. Journal of clinical microbiology, 48(6), pp.2289-2293. 

Cotté, V., Bonnet, S., Le Rhun, D., Le Naour, E., Chauvin, A., Boulouis, H.J., Lecuelle, B., Lilin, T. and Vayssier-Taussat, M., 2008. Transmission of Bartonella henselae by Ixodes ricinus. Emerging infectious diseases, 14(7), p.1074. 

Dehio, C., 2005. Bartonella–host-cell interactions and vascular tumour formation. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 3(8), pp.621-631.

Dietrich, F., Schmidgen, T., Maggi, R.G., Richter, D., Matuschka, F.R., Vonthein, R., Breitschwerdt, E.B. and Kempf, V.A., 2010. Prevalence of Bartonella henselae and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato DNA in Ixodes ricinus ticks in Europe. Applied and environmental microbiology, 76(5), pp.1395-1398. 

Lappin, M.R. and Hawley, J., 2009. Presence of Bartonella species and Rickettsia species DNA in the blood, oral cavity, skin and claw beds of cats in the United States. Veterinary dermatology, 20(5‐6), pp.509-514. 

Maggi, R.G., Ericson, M., Mascarelli, P.E., Bradley, J.M. and Breitschwerdt, E.B., 2013. Bartonella henselae bacteremia in a mother and son potentially associated with tick exposure. Parasites & vectors, 6(1), pp.1-9. 

Mascarelli, P.E., Maggi, R.G., Hopkins, S., Mozayeni, B.R., Trull, C.L., Bradley, J.M., Hegarty, B.C. and Breitschwerdt, E.B., 2013. Bartonella henselae infection in a family experiencing neurological and neurocognitive abnormalities after woodlouse hunter spider bites. Parasites & vectors, 6(1), pp.1-10. 

Moutailler, S., Valiente Moro, C., Vaumourin, E., Michelet, L., Tran, F.H., Devillers, E., Cosson, J.F., Gasqui, P., Van, V.T., Mavingui, P. and Vourc’h, G., 2016. Co-infection of ticks: the rule rather than the exception. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 10(3).

Oliveira, A.M., Maggi, R.G., Woods, C.W. and Breitschwerdt, E.B., 2010. Suspected needle stick transmission of Bartonella vinsonii subspecies berkhoffii to a veterinarian. Journal of veterinary internal medicine, 24(5), pp.1229-1232. 

Regier, Y., O’Rourke, F. and Kempf, V.A., 2016. Bartonella spp.-a chance to establish One Health concepts in veterinary and human medicine. Parasites & vectors, 9(1), pp.1-12. 

Reis, C., Cote, M., Le Rhun, D., Lecuelle, B., Levin, M.L., Vayssier-Taussat, M. and Bonnet, S.I., 2011. Vector competence of the tick Ixodes ricinus for transmission of Bartonella birtlesii. PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 5(5), p.e1186. 

Rossi, M.A., Balakrishnan, N., Linder, K.E., Messa, J.B. and Breitschwerdt, E.B., 2015. Concurrent B artonella henselae infection in a dog with panniculitis and owner with ulcerated nodular skin lesions. Veterinary dermatology, 26(1), pp.60-e22. 

Telford III, S.R. and Wormser, G.P., 2010. Bartonella spp. transmission by ticks not established. Emerging infectious diseases, 16(3), p.379. 

Vayssier-Taussat, M., Moutailler, S., Michelet, L., Devillers, E., Bonnet, S., Cheval, J., Hébert, C. and Eloit, M., 2013. Next generation sequencing uncovers unexpected bacterial pathogens in ticks in western Europe. PloS one, 8(11), p.e81439.

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Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • 2 Quizzes
  • Course Certificate