Bartonellosis

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Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Bartonellosis is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Summary

Bartonellosis is a group of emerging infectious diseases caused by bacteria belonging to the Bartonella genus. Bartonella includes at least 22 named species of bacteria that are mainly transmitted by carriers (vectors), including fleas, lice, or sandflies. Both domestic and wild animals can be infected with Bartonella species (Bartonella spp) by these vectors. Among the Bartonella spp, at least 14 have been implicated in diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people (zoonotic disease). Of these zoonotic species, several may be transmitted to humans by companion animals (dogs and cats), typically through a bite or scratch.

Human diseases that have been identified to be caused by one of the Bartonella spp bacteria include cat scratch fever (Bartonella henselae), Carrion's disease (Bartonella bacilliformis), and trench fever (Bartonella quintana). Symptoms of a Bartonella infection include fever, fatigue, malaise, swollen lymph nodes, joint aches and swelling, neurological abnormalities, and skin rash or markings.

Bartonella spp have also been associated with diseases of the skin (bacillary angiomatosis), liver (peliosis hepatis), heart (endocarditis), eyes (neuroretinis), blood (bacteremia), and brain (encephalopathy). Emerging research suggests an association of Bartonella with chronic health conditons affecting the central nervous system, joints, and vascular system in patients with both healthy and compromised immune systems.

Bartonella infection does not always result in manifestation of illness. A number of studies have detected clinically healthy people that have tested positive (seropositive) for Bartonella and those who become ill usually develop mild disease that tends to end without treatment (self-limiting). Immunocompromised patients, such as those undergoing immunosuppressive treatments for cancer, organ transplant patients, and people with HIV/AIDS, are more likely to develop severe, life-threatening disease.

Introduction

In 1909, Dr. Alberto Barton discovered the organism that became named Bartonell bacilliformis. Diseases caused by Bartonella spp occur all over the United States and in all major regions of the world, with higher prevalence occurring in areas that harbor insect carriers (arthropod vectors).

Supporting Organizations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
Tel: (404)639-3534
Tel: (800)232-4636
Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
Website: http://www.cdc.gov/

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

NIAID Office of Communications and Government Relations
5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9806
Bethesda, MD 20892-9806
Tel: (301)496-5717
Fax: (301)402-3573
Tel: (866)284-4107
Email: ocpostoffice@niaid.nih.gov
Website: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/

World Health Organization (WHO)

Avenue Appia 20
Geneva 27, 1211
Switzerland
Tel: 41227912111
Fax: 41227913111
Website: http://www.who.int/en/

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

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Last Updated:  9/26/2012
Copyright  2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.