Bartonellosis historical perspective

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

Historical Perspective

Cat-scratch disease

In 1988, English et al. [1] isolated and cultured a bacterium that was named Afipia felis in 1992. This agent was considered the etiologic agent of Cat-scratch Disease (CSD) but further studies failed to support this conclusion. Serologic studies associated CSD with Bartonella henselae, reported in 1992. In 1993 Dolan [2] isolated Rochalimae henselae (now called Bartonella henselae) from the lymph nodes of patients with CSD. Also, Bartonella henselae was associated bacteremia, bacillary angiomatosis, and peliosis hepatis in HIV patients, and bacteremia and endocarditis in immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients.[3]

Trench fever

Detailed descriptions of the disease were reported in soldiers during the First World War. It is also known as five-day fever, quintan fever, and Wolhinie fever. This disease is also known as "urban trench fever" because it is described in homeless and alcoholic people.[4]

Carrion's disease

The disease was named after medical student Daniel Alcides Carrión from Cerro de Pasco, Peru. Carrión described the disease after being inoculated at his request by Doctor Evaristo M. Chávez, a close friend and coworker in Dos de Mayo National Hospital. Carrión kept a meticulous clinical history until the disease rendered him incapable of the task. Carrión proved that "Oroya fever" and "Verruga Peruana" were two stages of the same disease, not two different diseases as was thought at the time.

Carrión was inoculated with the pus of the purple lesion from a patient (Carmen Paredes) in 1885. He developed the disease three weeks after the inoculation and died several weeks later. Bartonella bacilliformis is considered the most deadly bartonella to date, with a death rate of up to 90% during the acute phase. His sacrifice demonstrated the connection between the two phases of the disease. Subsequently, 23 subspecies of bartonella were discovered. His work did not result in a cure immediately, but his research started the process. Peru named 5 October as Peruvian Medicine Day in his honor.

Peruvian microbiologist Alberto Barton discovered the causative bacterial agent of bartonellosis in 1905, but his results were not published until 1909. Barton originally identified them as endoglobular structures: bacteria living inside red blood cells. Until 1993, the Bartonella genus contained only one species; there are now 23 identified species, all of them within family Bartonellaceae.[5]

References

  1. English CK, Wear DJ, Margileth AM, Lissner CR, Walsh GP (1988). "Cat-scratch disease. Isolation and culture of the bacterial agent". JAMA. 259 (9): 1347–52. doi:10.1001/jama.259.9.1347. PMID 3339840. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  2. Dolan MJ; Wong MT; Regnery RL; et al. (1993). "Syndrome of Rochalimaea henselae adenitis suggesting cat scratch disease". Ann. Intern. Med. 118 (5): 331–6. PMID 8430978. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |author-separator= ignored (help)
  3. Anderson BE, Neuman MA (1997). "Bartonella spp. as emerging human pathogens". Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 10 (2): 203–19. PMC 172916. PMID 9105751. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  4. Stein A, Raoult D (1995). "Return of trench fever". Lancet. 345 (8947): 450–1. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(95)90430-1. PMID 7853966. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  5. Zeaiter Z, Liang Z, Raoult D (2002). "Genetic classification and differentiation of Bartonella species based on comparison of partial ftsZ gene sequences". J. Clin. Microbiol. 40 (10): 3641–7. doi:10.1128/JCM.40.10.3641-3647.2002. PMC 130884. PMID 12354859.



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