Open Forum Infect Dis. 2018 Jul 27;5(8):ofy186. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofy186. eCollection 2018 Aug.

Bartonella Infectious Endocarditis Associated With Cryoglobulinemia and Multifocal Proliferative Glomerulonephritis.

Babiker A1, El Hag MI2, Perez C1.

Bartonella sp. are a common cause of culture-negative infective endocarditis. Glomerulonephritis is a well-documented consequence of the immune activation associated with infective endocarditis. However, Cryoglobulinemia has not previously been reported in association with Bartonella infective endocarditis. Below we report a case of a 48-year-old male with Bartonella henselae infective endocarditis complicated by cryoglobulinemia and multifocal proliferative glomerulonephritis, highlighting a possible link between Bartonella sp. infection and type III cryoglobulinemia.



Word on how devastating Bartonella is, is finally getting out.  Glomerulonephritis is a group of diseases that injure the part of the kidney that filters blood (called glomeruli). Other terms you may hear used are nephritis and nephrotic syndrome. When the kidney is injured, it cannot get rid of wastes and extra fluid in the body. If the illness continues, the kidneys may stop working completely, resulting in kidney failure. There are two types of glomerulonephritis—acute and chronic. The acute form develops suddenly. You may get it after an infection in your throat or on your skin. Sometimes, you may get better on your own. Other times, your kidneys may stop working unless the right treatment is started quickly. The early symptoms of the acute disease are:

  • puffiness of your face in the morning
  • blood in your urine (or brown urine)
  • urinating less than usual.
  • short of breath
  • cough because of extra fluid in your lungs
  • high blood pressure.

The chronic form may develop silently (without symptoms) over several years. It often leads to complete kidney failure. Early signs and symptoms of the chronic form may include:

  • Blood or protein in the urine (hematuria, proteinuria)
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling of your ankles or face (edema)
  • Frequent nighttime urination
  • Very bubbly or foamy urine

Symptoms of kidney failure include:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Nighttime muscle cramps  Cryogloblinemia is a vasculitis of small blood vessels that is caused by deposition of immune complexes: large aggregates of antibodies and the other proteins they are bound to. Some other types of vasculitis are also caused by immune complexes, but cryoglobulinemia is defined by a laboratory test that identifies immune complexes that fall out of solution in the cold. The severity of the disease is highly variable. Skin, joints, and nerves are commonly affected. Kidney disease is somewhat less common and with a wide range of severity. The heart, brain, or gastrointestinal tract each are affected in fewer than 10% of cases.  Most patients with cryoglobulinemia are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Many of the remaining patients with cryoglobulinemia have lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, or white blood cell cancers (lymphoma, myeloma, or Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia) as the underlying cause.

Symptoms include:

  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • sore joints or muscles
  • purpura (bright red circles, from the size of a pinhead up to half an inch, often painful or itchy)
  • open sores are also common
  • damage to nerves (neuropathy) causes numbness, tingling, severe burning pain, and or weakness in a hand or foot
  • involvement of the gastrointestinal organs causes abdominal pain
  • heart involvement could cause symptoms of a heart attack (chest pain) or congestive heart failure (difficulty breathing, swelling in the legs)
  • brain involvement can cause strokes, including multiple small strokes, and might also cause headache
  • any symptoms that resolve within a few hours are unlikely to be caused by vasculitis
  • kidney disease causes no symptoms until severe kidney failure occurs

Most patients will have a biopsy of skin or nerve that shows vasculitis, or a kidney biopsy that shows a characteristic type of inflammation called membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN). In those settings, a positive blood test for cryoglobulins establishes the diagnosis of cryoglobulinemia. In patients with syndromes highly suggestive of cryoglobulinemia, the blood test may allow diagnosis without biopsy.

For patients with HCV, anti-viral therapy is indicated regardless of the degree of severity. For less severe cases (e.g., purpura, weakness, and joint pain), anti-viral therapy alone is the treatment of choice. Involvement of vital organs requires addition of immune-suppressive drugs. Prednisone, azathioprine, and cyclophosphamide have been widely used, but recent studies have indicated that rituximab may be superior to these medications. Cryoglobulinemia without HCV infection is also treated using these medications or methotrexate (which is not used in HCV-infected patients), but no comparison of treatments has been reported. Patients with life-threatening or organ-threatening cryoglobulinemic vasculitis often receive plasmapheresis in addition to immune-suppressive medications.


Bartonella and vasculitis are pretty common in Lyme-land.  This article shows how two young women developed cerebral vasculitis after receiving Gardasil & subsequently died:

For more on Bartonella:  Bartonella causes vascular disease, and has an affinity for endothelial cells, red blood cells, microglial cells, macrophages, and CD34 progenitor cells hindering nutrient, oxygen, and antibiotic delivery due to vascular trauma causing pain, fatigue, cognitive/mood issues, and vascular tumors.
Bartonella has been found in 50-95% in selected rodent, cat, deer, and cattle populations. It causes lameness, endocarditis, grandulomatous lymphadenitis (chronic inflammation and buildup of immune cells), and peliosis hepatis (blood filled cavities in the liver) in dogs.
Drs. Breitschwerdt and Mozayeni report over 60% of Lyme patients were also seroreactive to Bartonella antigens.

And, this article points out that in Nova Scotia, 76% of dog ticks and 40 per cent of black-legged ticks tested carried Bartonella, which causes endocarditis, and several other serious and potentially fatal diseases in humans.

So ticks, and not just the dreaded black legged tick, carry Bartonella.  It’s time for mainstream medicine to accept that Lyme/MSIDS patients very well could be contracting Bartonella, Lyme, and a whole host of tick borne infections with one bite.  If the tick isn’t transmitting it, the bite is perhaps activating a latent infection, but either way, WE GOT IT.