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DNA Cell Biol. 2003 Jun;22(6):431-40.

The role of the host immune response in pathogenesis of Bartonella henselae.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa 33612, USA.


Bartonella henselae can infect humans resulting in a wide range of disease syndromes including cat-scratch disease, fever with bacteremia, endocarditis, bacillary angiomatosis, and bacillary peliosis hepatis, among others. The nature and severity of the clinical presentation correlates well with the status of the hosts' immune system. Individuals with impaired immune function, including HIV infection, progress to systemic infections more often. Patients with intact immune function who become infected with B. henselae usually get cat-scratch disease, a disease that usually involves lymphadenopathy resulting from a strong cellular immune response to the bacterium. However, immunocompromised patients often progress to bacillary angiomatosis or bacillary peliosis hepatis. The reduced ability of the hosts immune response to control bacterial infection apparently results in a bacteremia of longer duration, and in some patients the presence of angiogenic lesions that are unique among bacterial infections to Bartonella. Recently, the role of immune effector cells that produce angiogenic cytokines upon stimulation with B. henselae has been proposed. Here, the current status of the role of the immune response in both controlling infection and in B. henselae-triggered immunopathogenesis is presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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