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The Diversity of Bartonellosis Manifestations and Challenges to Treatment


Human Bartonellosis is an underappreciated public health problem. Like Lyme disease, Bartonellosis can be difficult to recognize clinically, to diagnose empirically, and to treat effectively. Bartonella bacteria cause systemic infections due to their broad organ tropism, which can manifest with a wide variety of signs and symptoms. While severe complications are typically associated with an immunocompromised state, neurological disease and association with tick-borne coinfection morbidity, without prior immune compromise, are becoming more apparent. Given the ability of this pathogen to invade multiple cell types and tissues, antibiotic treatment must have good cellular penetration, and no single treatment is known to be effective against all Bartonella-associated diseases.

This activity is intended to provide the following information about Bartonella infection.

  1. Pathogen transmission
  2. Disease manifestations
  3. Diagnosis and Treatment
  4. Possible misdiagnosis and co-infections
  5. Research needs and unanswered questions

Intended Audience

Clinicians, including infectious disease and internal medicine specialists, psychiatrists, and dermatologists, clinical laboratories, emergency room and urgent care centers and any other allied health professionals or patients interested in learning about human Bartonellosis.

Learning Objectives

1. Describe the possible clinical presentations (signs and symptoms) of Bartonellosis.
2. Compare Bartonellosis to Lyme borreliosis in terms of detection, persistence and treatment.
3. Identify research efforts needed to better diagnose and cure Bartonellosis.


Monica E. Embers, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Microbiology and Immunology
Director of Vector-Borne Disease Research
Tulane University
National Primate Research Center


0.5 hour


The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of any organization associated with this activity.

Monica E. Embers, Ph.D.
– Nothing to disclose

P.A.C.E. Accreditation

Quidel is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® Program.

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