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J Clin Microbiol. Sep 1997; 35(9): 2256–2261.
PMCID: PMC229949

Prevalence of Bartonella species in domestic cats in The Netherlands.

Abstract

Cats have been shown to provide the only known reservoir of Bartonella henselae, the causative agent of cat scratch disease. To determine the prevalence of Bartonella bacteremia and antibodies in Dutch cats, blood samples from 113 cats from shelters (sheltered cats), 50 pet cats, and 25 specific-pathogen-free (SPF) cats were analyzed. Culture and subsequent PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic region and 16S rRNA gene PCR-hybridization assays revealed a prevalence of Bartonella bacteremia in 22% of the sheltered cats and showed no bacteremia in the SPF cats. Three spacer RFLP types were found: types A, B, and G, with type B being predominant over types A and G. An important finding was the existence of mixtures of different Bartonella species. Bartonella DNA was detected in 7 of 27 DNA extracts from fleas combed from the sheltered cats (26%). Seropositivity was 50% for sheltered cats and 56% for pet cats, as determined by a B. henselae enzyme-linked immunoassay.

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Selected References

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