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Vet Microbiol. 2003 May 29;93(3):261-73.

Detection and characterization of feline Bartonella henselae in the Czech Republic.

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National Institute of Public Health, Srobárova 48, 10042 Prague, Czech Republic.


The aims of the study were to characterize isolates of Bartonella henselae and to determine the prevalence of bacteremic domestic cats in urban and suburban parts of Prague, Czech Republic. Five (18%) gram-negative fastidious bacterial single-cat isolates were recovered from 27 hemocultures incubated without previous freezing. Four of these isolates originated from flea infested stray cats (n=6) and one from a shelter cat without any ectoparasites (n=21). None of the 34 previously frozen specimens from flea free pet cats yielded any bacteria. All five isolates were catalase and oxidase negative. Their enzymatic activity, RFLP profile of citrate synthetase gene (gltA) and DNA-DNA hybridization results were typical of B. henselae. According to their PvuII and BglI ribotypes the isolates could be allocated to two homogeneous groups. Ribotype HindIII and RFLP of 16S-23S rRNA spacer region analysis gave unique profiles different from those of Bartonella quintana, Bartonella elizabethae and Bartonella clarridgeiae. The 16S rRNA type-specific amplification revealed an identical profile typical of B. henselae genotype II for all the cat isolates studied. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) assigned a different profile to each of the isolates studied. Determination of the enzymatic activity, RFLP of gltA gene, RFLP of 16S-23S rRNA spacer region, and HindIII ribotype could be efficient tools for identification of B. henselae isolates. Ribotyping (PvuII, BglI), 16S rRNA typing and PFGE may be useful methods to prospect ecology and epidemiology of the agent.

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