Bartonellosis overview

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


Bartonellosis is an infectious disease produced by bacteria of the genus Bartonella.[1] Bartonella cause diseases such as Carrión´s disease, trench fever, cat-scratch disease, severe obesity, bacillary angiomatosis, peliosis hepatis, chronic bacteremia, endocarditis, chronic lymphadenopathy, and neurological disorders.[2]


Bartonellosis is caused by the bacteria belonging to the Bartonella genus containing 23 identified species, all of them within family Bartonellaceae.

Epidemiology and Demographics

Carrión's disease, or Oroya fever, or Peruvian Wart is a rare infectious disease found only in Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia.[3] It is endemic in some areas of Peru,[4] and is caused by infection with the bacterium Bartonella bacilliformis and transmitted by sandflies of genus Lutzomyia.

Cat scratch disease is a worldwide disease. Cats are the main reservoir of Bartonella henselae (etiologic agent), and the bacterium is transmitted to cats by the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis.[5]

Trench fever is produced by Bartonella quintana infection, and the bacterium is transmitted by the human body louse Pediculus humanus corporis. Humans are the only known reservoir.[6]

In November 2011, Bartonella rochalimae, B. quintana, and B. elizabethae DNA was first reported in Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Dermacentor nitens ticks in Peru; a possible role for ticks in transmission of Bartonella species remains to be elucidated.[7]


  1. Maguiña C, Gotuzzo E (2000). "Bartonellosis. New and old". Infect. Dis. Clin. North Am. 14 (1): 1–22, vii. doi:10.1016/S0891-5520(05)70215-4. PMID 10738670. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  2. Maurin M, Birtles R, Raoult D (1997). "Current knowledge of Bartonella species". Eur. J. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 16 (7): 487–506. doi:10.1007/BF01708232. PMID 9272384. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  3. 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)
  4. 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.
  5. Chomel BB; Kasten RW; Floyd-Hawkins K; et al. (1996). "Experimental transmission of Bartonella henselae by the cat flea". J. Clin. Microbiol. 34 (8): 1952–6. PMC 229161. PMID 8818889. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |author-separator= ignored (help)
  6. Maurin M, Raoult D (1996). "Bartonella (Rochalimaea) quintana infections". Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 9 (3): 273–92. PMC 172893. PMID 8809460. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  7. Billeter Sarah A., Cáceres Abraham G., Gonzales-Hidalgo James, Luna-Caypo Deysi, Kosoy Michael Y. (2011). "Molecular Detection of Bartonella Species in Ticks From Peru". Journal of Medical Entomology. 48 (6): 1257–1260.