Bartonellosis epidemiology and demographics

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Carrión's disease, or Oroya fever, or Peruvian Wart is a rare infectious disease found only in Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia.[1] It is endemic in some areas of Peru,[2] and is caused by infection with the bacterium Bartonella bacilliformis and transmitted by sandflies of genus Lutzomyia.

Epidemiology and Demographics

Whether because rodent associated, IV transmitted or because tick borne disease is higher risk for the homeless, homeless IV drug users are at high risk for Bartonella infections, particularly B. elizabethae. B. elizabethae seropositivity rates in this population range from 12.5% in Los Angeles,[3] to 33% in Baltimore, Maryland,[4] 46% in New York,[5] and in Sweden 39%.[6]

Cat scratch disease is a worldwide disease.


  1. Maguina C, Garcia PJ, Gotuzzo E, Cordero L, Spach DH (2001). "Bartonellosis (Carrión's disease) in the modern era". Clin. Infect. Dis. 33 (6): 772–9. doi:10.1086/322614. PMID 11512081. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  2. Maco V, Maguiña C, Tirado A, Maco V, Vidal JE (2004). "Carrion's disease (Bartonellosis bacilliformis) confirmed by histopathology in the High Forest of Peru". Rev. Inst. Med. Trop. Sao Paulo. 46 (3): 171–4. doi:10.1590/S0036-46652004000300010. PMID 15286824.
  3. Smith HM, Reporter R, Rood MP; et al. (2002). "Prevalence study of antibody to ratborne pathogens and other agents among patients using a free clinic in downtown Los Angeles". J. Infect. Dis. 186 (11): 1673–6. PMID 12447746.
  4. Comer JA, Flynn C, Regnery RL, Vlahov D, Childs JE (1996). "Antibodies to Bartonella species in inner-city intravenous drug users in Baltimore, Md". Arch. Intern. Med. 156 (21): 2491–5. PMID 8944742.
  5. Comer JA, Diaz T, Vlahov D, Monterroso E, Childs JE (2001). "Evidence of rodent-associated Bartonella and Rickettsia infections among intravenous drug users from Central and East Harlem, New York City". Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 65 (6): 855–60. PMID 11791987.
  6. McGill S, Hjelm E, Rajs J, Lindquist O, Friman G (2003). "Bartonella spp. antibodies in forensic samples from Swedish heroin addicts". Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 990: 409–13. PMID 12860665.