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J Clin Microbiol. 1999 Nov;37(11):3618-26.

Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii and related members of the alpha subdivision of the Proteobacteria in dogs with cardiac arrhythmias, endocarditis, or myocarditis.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606, USA. ed_breitschwerdt@ncsu.edu

Abstract

Cardiac arrhythmias, endocarditis, or myocarditis was identified in 12 dogs, of which 11 were seroreactive to Bartonella vinsonii subspecies berkhoffii antigens. Historical abnormalities were highly variable but frequently included substantial weight loss, syncope, collapse, or sudden death. Fever was an infrequently detected abnormality. Cardiac disease was diagnosed following an illness of short duration in most dogs, but a protracted illness of at least 6 months' duration was reported for four dogs. Valvular endocarditis was diagnosed echocardiographically or histologically in eight dogs, two of which also had moderate to severe multifocal myocarditis. Four dogs lacking definitive evidence of endocarditis were included because of seroreactivity to B. vinsonii antigens and uncharacterized heart murmurs and/or arrhythmias. Alpha proteobacteria were not isolated from the blood by either conventional or lysis centrifugation blood culture techniques. Using PCR amplification and DNA sequencing of a portion of the 16S rRNA gene, B. vinsonii was identified in the blood or heart valves of three dogs. DNA sequence alignment of PCR amplicons derived from blood or tissue samples from seven dogs clustered among members of the alpha subdivision of the Proteobacteria and suggested the possibility of involvement of one or more alpha proteobacteria; however, because of the limited quantity of sequence, the genus could not be identified. Serologic or molecular evidence of coinfection with tick-transmitted pathogens, including Ehrlichia canis, Babesia canis, Babesia gibsonii, or spotted fever group rickettsiae, was obtained for seven dogs. We conclude that B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii and closely related species of alpha proteobacteria are an important, previously unrecognized cause of arrhythmias, endocarditis, myocarditis, syncope, and sudden death in dogs.

PMID:
10523564
PMCID:
PMC85709
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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