Rickettsia typhi and Bartonella henselae are the causative agents of murine typhus and cat-scratch disease, respectively. A small-scale survey (N = 202) was conducted in the Attica region, Greece, for determining the prevalence rates of IgG antibodies against B. henselae and R. typhi by indirect fluorescence antibody test.
- IgG against B. henselae 17.8% (36/202)
- IgG against R. typhi 4.5% (9/202)
- co-occurring IgG against both 3.5% (7/202)
- only anti-B. henselae IgG in 14.3% (29/202)
- only anti-R. typhi IgG in 1.0% (2/202)
- Titres 1/64, 1/128, 1/256, and 1/512, of anti-B. henselae IgG were identified in 6.4%, 4.5%, 4.5%, and 2.4%
- whereas titres 1/40 and 1/80 of anti-R. typhi IgG were detected in 4.0%, and 0.5%, respectively.
- A positive association of anti-B. henselae IgG prevalence with a coastal area featuring a major seaport (p = 0.009) and with younger age (p = 0.046) was identified.
The findings of this survey raise concern for exposure of the population of Attica to B. henselae and R. typhi, which should be considered in the differential diagnosis when compatible symptoms are present. Our results also suggest that seaports may represent high-risk areas for exposure to Bartonella spp.
This study demonstrates the importance of birds in tick & disease proliferation. We’ve always been told it’s just the mice, mice, mice…..but it isn’t. Many things can transport ticks, including the movement of people.