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Ann Biol Clin (Paris). 1999 Jan-Feb;57(1):29-36.

[Bartonellosis. II. Other Bartonella responsible for human diseases].

[Article in French]

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Institut de bactériologie, Faculté de Médecine et Hôpitaux universitaires de Strasbourg, 3, rue Koeberlé, 67000 Strasbourg.


In addition to Bartonella henselae, five other Bartonella species were involved in human pathology. As for B. henselae, ectoparasites seem to be responsible for the transmission of most or all these bacterial species. B. bacilliformis is responsible for Carrion's disease that occurs in some valleys of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. This disease is transmitted by biting of infected sandflies. The bacterial reservoir is constituted by humans only. That disease occurs either as an acute form with severe infectious hemolytic anemia (or Oroya fever), or as benign cutaneous tumors, also called verruga peruana. Healthy blood carriers of the bacterium exist. Trench fever was described during the First World War. This non-lethal disease is constituted of recurrent febrile attacks associated particularly with osseous pains. The causative agent of the disease is B. quintana, transmitted by the body louse. Humans seem to be the reservoir of that bacterium. In some patients, B. quintana can be responsible for endocarditis, bacillary angiomatosis and chronic or recurrent bacteremia. Other human infections due to Bartonella sp. have been described: B. vinsonii, isolated from blood of small rodents, and B. elizabethae, the reservoir of which is currently unknown, can be responsible for endocardites. B. clarridgeiae (isolated from blood of 5% of pet cats and 17% of stray cats) may be responsible for human cat scratch disease. All these bartonelloses are diagnosed by non-standard blood culture or by in vitro DNA amplification or by serological testing. Their treatment requires tetracyclines or chloramphenicol or macrolides.

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