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Bartonellosis

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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

Disorder Subdivisions

  • cat scratch disease
  • Carrion's disease
  • trench fever

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).

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
Tel: (404)639-3534
Tel: (800)232-4636
TDD: (888)232-6348
Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
Internet: http://www.cdc.gov/

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Office of Communications and Government Relations
6610 Rockledge Drive, MSC 6612
Bethesda, MD 20892-6612
Tel: (301)496-5717
Fax: (301)402-3573
Tel: (866)284-4107
TDD: (800)877-8339
Email: ocpostoffice@niaid.nih.gov
Internet: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/

World Health Organization (WHO)
Avenue Appia 20
Geneva 27, 1211
Switzerland
Tel: 41227912111
Fax: 41227913111
Internet: http://www.who.int/en/

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
TDD: (888)205-3223
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, 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. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  9/26/2012
Copyright  1986, 1994, 2001, 2009, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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