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Vet Microbiol. 2001 May 21;80(2):185-98.

Epidemiology of Bartonella infection in domestic cats in France.

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UMR 956 INRA/AFSSA/ENVA, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, 94704 Maisons-Alfort, France.


Blood samples were collected between February and June 1996 from a convenience sample of 436 domestic French cats living in Paris and its environs and were tested for Bartonella bacteremia and seropositivity. Seventy-two cats (16.5%) were Bartonella bacteremic, of which 36 cats (50%) were infected with Bartonella henselae type II (B.h. II) only, 15 cats (21%) were infected with Bartonella clarridgeiae (B.c.) only, and 11 cats (15%) were infected with B. henselae type I (B.h. I) only. Eight cats (11%) were co-infected with B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae (B.h. II/B.c.: five cats; B.h. I/B.c.: three cats). Two cats (2.8%) were concurrently bacteremic with B. henselae types I and II. Risk factors associated with bacteremia included ownership for <6months (prevalence ratio (PR)=1.80; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.13-2.85), adoption from the pound or found as a stray (PR=1.67, 95% CI=1.05-2.65), and cohabitation with one or more cats (PR=1.60, 95% CI=1.01-2.53). Bartonella antibodies to either B. henselae or B. clarridgeiae were detected in 179 cats (41.1%). Risk factors associated with seroposivity paralleled those for bacteremia, except for lack of association with time of ownership. Prevalence ratios of bacteremic or seropositive cats increased with the number of cats per household (p=0.02). The lack of antibodies to B. henselae or B. clarridgeiae was highly predictive of the absence of bacteremia (predictive value of a negative test=97.3%). Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that bacteremia, after adjustment for age and flea infestation, and positive serology, after adjustment for age, were associated with origin of adoption and number of cats in the household. Flea infestation was associated with positive serology.

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