Bartonellosis : The Bacterial Infection You Need To Know

Bartonellosis : The Bacterial Infection You Need To Know

Any infectious disease caused by the Bartonella bacterium is known as bartonellosis. These include peliosis hepatis, Oroya fever, Cat Scratch Disease, Carrion's Disease, and others.

Any infectious disease caused by the Bartonella bacterium is known as bartonellosis. These include peliosis hepatis, Oroya fever, Cat Scratch Disease, Carrion's Disease, and others.

A gram-negative intracellular facultative bacterium known as Bartonella is frequently blamed for spreading zoonotic illnesses throughout the world.  Bartonella bacilliformis, Bartonella quintana, and Bartonella henselae are commonly linked to infections in people among the over 20 species of Bartonella that have been isolated to far.

The five-day fever, often known as trench sickness, was originally identified among soldiers in Europe. Trench fever is only known to affect humans and is spread via body louse.

The earliest accounts of Oroya fever appeared in 1870, during the construction of a railway line connecting Lima with Oroya in Peru. Oroya fever was given that name in honour of the place where it was first noted, was an epidemic of fever that claimed the lives of thousands of workers.


The infection that is most frequently brought on by Bartonella species is cat scratch disease, which is brought on by Bartonella henselae. While Bartonella quintana is linked to trench fever, Bartonella bacilliformis is responsible for Oroya fever and verruga peruana.B. angiomatosis, the agent that causes Carrion's illness, is characterised by a high-grade fever, severe anaemia brought on by the loss of red blood cells, significant enlargement of the spleen and liver, bleeding into the lymph nodes, and blood vessel damage. 40% of people die without therapy.


 The prevalence of cat-scratch disease was estimated to be 6.4 cases per 100,000 adults and 9.4 cases per 100,000 children aged 5 to 9 worldwide. The southeastern region of the United States has the highest incidence, with peaks in January, late summer, and fall.Since the early 20th century, numerous nations around the world have experienced both epidemic and occasional outbreaks blood culture of trench fever, with the greatest epidemics occurring during World Wars 1 and 2. The risk of trench fever is higher among those who are homeless and are exposed to the virus most frequently. While occasional cases have been identified in Chile, Guatemala, and Bolivia, Bartonella bacilliformis infections are endemic to Peru, Columbia, and Ecuador.


Historically, it was believed that cats might spread cat scratch sickness by biting or scratching people. Cats serve as the primary vector for the spread of cat scratch disease, together with the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis.Recent studies have demonstrated that additional arthropod vectors, such as ticks, lice, chiggers, and mosquitoes, are also responsible for the disease's transmission among people. According to reports, the primary vector for the spread of trench fever, which is brought on by Bartonella quintana, is the human body louse Pedicures humans. By way of the female sandfly Lutzomyia's bite, Bartonella bacilliformis is transmitted.

Once within the body, Bartonella seeks out CD34+ cells, a subset of white blood cells that serve as a source of progenitors for endothelial cells, which line blood vessels and other tissues. After entering the cell, it stops the cell from exploding on itself and also forms a vacuole, a protective cyst, around the cell.

The main virulence factor for Bartonella is an endotoxin known as lipid A that is frequently found in the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria. A significant factor in the pathophysiology of the disease process is the organism's capacity to penetrate endothelium and erythrocyte cells. Antibody Titer IgM The organism modifies the host's immune system in such a way that it leaves them open to infection by other bacterial diseases. After this acute time, the organism invades the endovascular, lymphatic, and other organ systems of the body, which contributes to the disease's numerous symptoms.

After this acute time, the organism invades the endovascular, lymphatic, and other organ systems of the body, which contributes to the disease's numerous symptoms.


The most common cutaneous symptoms of cat scratch disease appear near the injection site. Within a week to ten days of exposure, cutaneous signs appear and go through vesicular, erythematous, and papular phases. The lymph nodes close to the injection site swell up. There are additional characteristics including fever, malaise, and visceral organ involvement, but they are uncommon.

The eye is the organ that is most frequently afflicted, second only to the lymphatic system. Visual symptoms might not be a typical presenting complaint for ocular involvement, which can be subclinical. An optic neuropathy known as neuroretinitis is typically distinguished by optic disc enlargement x-rays in the presence of a partial or full macular star. Uncertain, but possibly occurring in 1% to 2% of CSD cases, is its prevalence. Neuro retinitis typically manifests unilaterally. Optic neuritis is an isolated inflammatory optic neuropathy brought on by demyelination, in contrast to neuroretinitis, which signals infection.

A sinusoidal hepatic capillary growth that results in blood-filled gaps in the liver is known as peliosis hepatis. This illness was initially identified in patients with advanced malignancies and tuberculosis, and it has been linked to the use of anabolic steroids and other medicines. It is now known that B. henselae can cause PH in HIV-positive people. Additionally, organ transplant recipients have been noted to have PH. HIV-positive patients may also experience BA of the skin and PH of the spleen at the same time.

Relapsing low-grade fever is a common symptom of chronic Bartonella infection. Vision haze, photophobia, and eye irritability are all examples of chronic eye issues. Bone pain, most frequently in the shin bone scan, is a common side effect of Bartonella infections of the bone marrow. When you get up in the morning, your feet may hurt. This is another typical Bartonella symptom. The damage to blood vessels in the soles of the feet caused by walking is linked to this.


The traditional criteria for diagnosing CSD include (i) close contact with cats or a scratch or bite from a cat, (ii) the typical histology of CSD (granuloma with a central pyogenic abscess, with lymphoid hyperplasia CT Scan Chest not being sufficiently specific to establish a diagnosis of CSD), and (iii) positive serology by an immunofluorescence assay for antibodies against B. henselae.

Since no single criterion may be regarded as the gold standard, a diagnosis of CSD must rely on the existence of a mix of epidemiological, histological, and bacterial factors.

Serological tests, culture, histopathology, and polymerase chain reaction are the diagnostic modalities frequently ct scans employed to identify Bartonella infections. Western blot, ELISA, IFA, PCR DNA detection, and culture are the five blood tests that are offered.


Depending on how the condition presents clinically, cat scratch disease must be managed. Due to the self-limiting MRI Brain nature of the illness, patients who come with milder symptoms like lymphadenopathy and fever are typically not put on an antibiotic treatment.

A single antibiotic programme, according to research, will greatly shorten the time that the symptoms last. Azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and rifampin are examples of antimicrobials that are often used.

Patients with severe lymphadenopathy should take oral azithromycin at doses of 500 mg on day one and 250 mg on days two through five.

Oral rifampin 300 mg twice daily for 4 to 6 weeks and oral doxycycline 100 mg twice daily for 4 to 6 weeks are recommended for retinitis.

With oral Doxycycline at 200 mg once day for 4 weeks and intravenous gentamicin at 3 mg/kg for 2 weeks, trench fever or persistent bacteremia with B. quintana can be treated.

Enhancing healthcare outcomes

An inter-professional team composed of an internist, emergency department doctor, primary care physician, nurse practitioner, and infectious disease consultant is ideally suited for diagnosing and treating cat scratch disease.

The way the disease presents clinically affects how it should be managed. Because the condition is self-limiting, patients with milder symptoms, such as lymphadenopathy and fever, are typically not put on an antibiotic prescription.