Archive for the ‘Bartonella’ Category

Other Arthropod-Borne Bacteria Causing Nonmalarial Fever in Ethiopia

2019 Jun 10. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2018.2396. [Epub ahead of print]

Arthropod-Borne Bacteria Cause Nonmalarial Fever in Rural Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Study in 394 Patients.


Bacterial arthropod-borne pathogens are a common cause of fever in Africa, but their precise impact is unknown and usually underdiagnosed in the basic rural laboratories of low-resourced African countries. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of arthropod-borne bacterial diseases causing fever among malaria smear-negative patients in a rural hospital located in Ethiopia. The study population included patients aged 2 years or older; referred to Gambo Rural General Hospital (West Arsi, Ethiopia), between July and November 2013, for fever or report of fever in the previous 48 h; attending the outpatient department; and testing negative for malaria by Giemsa-stained thin blood smears. We extracted DNA from 394 whole blood samples, using reverse line blot assays of amplicons to look for bacteria from the genera: Anaplasma, Bartonella, Borrelia, Coxiella, Ehrlichia, Francisella, and Rickettsia.

Thirteen patients showed presence of DNA for these pathogens: three each by Borrelia spp., the Francisella group (F. tularensis tularensis, F. tularensis holartica, and F. novicia), Rickettsia bellii, and Rickettsia Felis, and one by Bartonella rochalimae. Thus, in this rural area of Africa, febrile symptoms could be due to bacteria transmitted by arthropods. Further studies are needed to evaluate the pathogenic role of R. bellii.



What if some of this is mosquito-borne as well? We frankly don’t know because the transmission studies are screaming to be done.





Retinal Vessel Occlusion Caused by Bartonella Infection

. 2018 Nov 19; 33(47): e297.
Published online 2018 Oct 29. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2018.33.e297
PMCID: PMC6236082
PMID: 31044568

A Case of Retinal Vessel Occlusion Caused by Bartonella Infection

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A 29-year-old female visited the emergency room with sudden visual loss in the right eye started on the same day. She had been suffering from fever for two days. A best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was 0.5/0.7 in the Snellen chart. Fundus examination (Fig. 1) showed multiple retinal hemorrhages. Severe vascular sheaths around the optic disc area were present in the right eye. Candle-wax-dripping sign in the superior hemisphere were found in the left eye.

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On systemic examination, erythema of the lower extremities (Fig. 1C) and right inguinal lymph node enlargement were discovered. With systemic doxycycline (100 mg) and gentamicin (90 mg) administration, fever subsided after three days. Bartonella infection was confirmed after 10 days with in-house indirect immunofluorescent assay (IFA) analysis (immunoglobulin G; cutoff points for seropositive titer at 1:64). Lymph node biopsy showed necrotizing granulomatous lymphadenitis (Fig. 1D). On the same day, the BCVA decreased to hand motion in the right eye. When asked, she could not specify when the vision loss began. The candle-wax-dripping sign in the left eye had progressed to vascular sheath with flame-shaped hemorrhages. Fluorescein angiography shows a rack of filling of the retinal arteries. Blocked fluorescence by retinal hemorrhage was found in the whole area of right eye and in the superotemporal quadrant of left eye. Inner-retinal hyper-reflectivity of the right eye and cystoid macular edema in the left eye were revealed (Fig. 2). The impression was central retinal artery and vein occlusion for the right eye and branch retinal artery and vein occlusion for the left eye, associated with severe vasculitis secondary to Bartonella infection. The patient was treated with a systemic methylprednisolone 500 mg, anticoagulant (Enoxaparin sodium 60 mg) and Rifampin (300 mg). Three month after disease onset, the BCVA in the right eye improved to 0.1. For photographs and medical records that consisted possible identification of the patient, a consent form was obtained from the patient for use of publication.

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The authors thank Professor Jin-Soo Lee, Department of Internal Medicine, Inha University School of Medicine, for his help with the in-house IFA analysis.


Funding: This research was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Korean government, the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIP) (NRF-2017M3A9E2056458).

Disclosure: The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

Contributed by

Author Contributions: Conceptualization: Woo M, Kim SW. Investigation: Woo M, Ahn S. Writing – original draft: Woo M. Writing – review & editing: Ahn S, Song JY, Kim SW.


1. Kwon HY, Im JH, Lee SM, Baek JH, Durey A, Park SG, et al. The seroprevalence of Bartonella henselae in healthy adults in Korea. Korean J Intern Med. 2017;32(3):530–535. [PMC free article][PubMed] []

Breaking Down the Baronella Spp. ePCR Triple Blood Draw: How Does It Work?

Breaking down the Bartonella spp. ePCR Triple Blood Draw: How does it work?

ArminLabs (EliSpot) With Dr. Schwarzbach – Podcast

Why You Should Listen

In this episode, you will learn about EliSpot testing and the various testing options available through ArminLabs in Germany.

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About My Guest

My guest for this episode is Dr. Armin Schwarzbach.  Armin Schwarzbach, MD, PhD is a medical doctor and a specialist in laboratory medicine from the laboratory ArminLabs in Augsburg, Germany.  Dr. Schwarzbach began by studying biochemistry at Hoechst AG in Frankfurt, Germany and pharmacy at the University of Mainz in Germany in 1984. In 1985 he studied medicine for 6 years at the University of Mainz and finished his MD in 1991.  Dr. Schwarzbach developed the worldwide first Radioimmunoassay (RIA) for human Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide from 1986 – 1991, getting his PhD in 1992.  He is member of the Swiss Association for tick-borne diseases, the German Association of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, and the German Society for Medical Laboratory Specialists.  He is an Advisory Board member of AONM London, England, and Board member of German Borreliosis Society, and Member and former Board Member of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) and has served as an expert on advisory committees on Lyme Disease in England, Australia, Canada, Ireland, France, and Germany.  Dr. Schwarzbach is the founder and CEO of ArminLabs in Augsburg, Germany and has specialized in diagnostic tests and treatment options for patients with tick-borne diseases for over 20 years.

Key Takeaways

  • What is an EliSpot?
  • What organisms can be tested for using EliSpot technology?
  • How specific is the EliSpot in testing for Borrelia, Bartonella, Babesia, and other organisms?
  • Does the state of the immune system matter when considering EliSpot results?
  • Which infections are the most persistent?
  • Can the EliSpot be used to track progress or success of treatment?
  • What is Yersinia and where might it be encountered?
  • Can EliSpot testing be used in newborns and infants?
  • What role do viruses such as EBV, CMV, Coxsackie, and others play in chronic illness?
  • Can Mast Cell Activation Syndrome be triggered by viruses?
  • Why are Mycoplasma and Chlamydia so important to explore?
  • Why is IgA testing a promising new direction in laboratory medicine?
  • Is CD57 helpful clinically?
  • What microbes are more commonly associated with specific medical conditions?
  • How common are Rickettsial organisms?
  • What is “Post Lyme Syndrome”? Is it real?

Connect With My Guest


The content of this show is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness or medical condition. Nothing in today’s discussion is meant to serve as medical advice or as information to facilitate self-treatment. As always, please discuss any potential health-related decisions with your own personal medical authority.

Review of PSI Joint Infections in Pediatrics – All With Negative Blood Cultures: Bartonella & Brucella, Among Others

2019 May 23. pii: S1695-4033(18)30548-4. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2018.07.017. [Epub ahead of print]

[Pyogenic sacroiliitis: Lessons learned from an atypical case series].

[Article in Spanish]



Pyogenic sacroiliitis (PSI) is a rare condition that amounts to 1% to 2% of all joint infections in the paediatric age group. Its diagnosis is often difficult and delayed due to its nonspecific signs, symptoms and physical findings. Also, the identification of the causative microorganism is frequently challenging due to a high proportion of negative blood cultures and the risks involved in joint aspiration in this site.


We performed a retrospective review of the health records of all patients aged less than 18 years admitted to a tertiary children’s hospital due to PSI between 2008 and 2016.


We identified 6 cases of paediatric PSI. The blood cultures were negative, and the identification of the causative agent required joint fluid aspiration in one patient with infection by Aggregatibacter aphrophilus, and specific screening tests for less frequent agents in the other patients: Kingella kingae (n=2), Brucella melitensis (n=1) and Bartonella henselae (n=1). The patients were treated with specific antimicrobial regimens, and all had favourable clinical outcomes and were free from sequelae during the follow-up.


Despite the small sample size, our study evinced the low effectiveness of blood cultures for diagnosis of paediatric PSI. It also highlights the need for a high level of suspicion for atypical agents and the early use of adequate diagnostic methods, including imaging and serological testing or polymerase chain-reaction (PCR) analysis of blood samples, as well as prescription of effective antimicrobial therapy.



Pyogenic sacroiliitis = puss forming joint infection in the sacroiliac joint.


Brucella melitensisa gram negative rod-shaped bacteria, is a human pathogen (Malta fever), B.abortus (Bang’s disease), and in rare cases, B. suis and B. canis. Transmission occurs through animal contact (birth) or animal products, inhalation of infected particles, STD, breastfeeding, bone marrow transplants, blood products, and yes, ticks.  Pathogens are found in macrophages which are transported to lymph nodes, then spread throughout the body.  Treatment consists of doxycycline, rifampicin, & gentamicin.  Also, Ciprofloxin 500mg twice a day for 7-14 days. It has been found in eggs, larvae and engorged females of Dermacentor marginatus ticks (that bite humans)

Hosts are most mammals including humans.

Symptoms are very non-specific:  Actually the best information is found here.

And…according to the CDC:

*Three types of the bacteria that cause brucellosis – Brucella abortusBrucella melitensis and Brucella suis – are designated as select agents. This means that they have the potential to be developed as bioterrorism agents due to their ability to undergo aerosolization.

Oh goody, another potential bioweaponized agent spread by ticks.

For more on the history of brucella as a bioweapon:  Acute Lyme arthritis in the hip mimicking acute pyogenic arthritis in 5-year old girl.  Bartonella & all sorts of rheumatic symptoms in patients from Lyme endemic regions with histories of cat, dog, mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and biting fly exposure.

Staph is usually the culprit, but this case report highlights that Lyme, Bartonella, Brucella, and mycoplasma should be tested for as well.  Things to watch for in children/babies – pain with diaper changes, limping, fever, irritability, decreased range of motion in the pelvic area.  This review stated the highest incidence was in adolescents:, but that it’s an under recognized entity in infants with an unidentified bacterial source.  Could this be a manifestation of congenital Lyme/MSIDS that’s flying under the radar?





High Titers of Bartonella Found in Patients With Musculoskeletal Complaints

2019 May 22. doi: 10.1007/s10067-019-04591-5. [Epub ahead of print]

The seroprevalence of Bartonella spp. in the blood of patients with musculoskeletal complaints and blood donors, Poland: a pilot study.



Bartonella spp. can cause a variety of diseases, such as lymphadenopathies, cat scratch disease, and trench fever, but can also give rise to many non-specific symptoms. No data exists regarding the prevalence of Bartonella spp. in patients with musculoskeletal complaints, nor among blood donors in Poland.


The presence of anti-Bartonella IgM and IgG in the serum of blood donors (n = 65) (Lodz, Poland) and in the patients of the Department of Rheumatology Clinic (n = 40) suffering from musculoskeletal symptoms was tested by immunofluorescence. Blood samples were cultured on enriched media. Epidemiological questionnaires were used to identify key potential risk factors, such as sex, age, contact with companion animals, and bites from insects or animals.



  • 27 of the 105 tested subjects were seropositive for Bartonella henselae IgG (23%)
  • 3 for Bartonella quintana IgG (2.85%)
  • IgMs against B. henselae were found in 3 individuals (2.85%)
  • IgMs against B. quintana were found in one (1.54%)

No statistically significant difference was found between the prevalence of B. henselae in the blood of donors or patients and the presence of unexplained musculoskeletal complaints (23% vs 30%). Individuals who had kept or been scratched by cats were not more likely to be B. henselae seropositive (p > 0.01). Tick bites were more commonly reported in patients, but insignificantly (p > 0.01).


This is the first report of a high seroprevalence of anti-Bartonella IgG in patients with musculoskeletal symptoms and in blood donors in Poland. The obtained results indicate that such seroprevalence may have a possible significance in the development of musculoskeletal symptoms, although it should be confirmed on a larger group of patients. Asymptomatic bacteremia might occur and pose a threat to recipients of blood from infected donors. Hence, there is a need for more detailed research, including molecular biology methods, to clarify the potential risk of Bartonella spp. being spread to immunocompromised individuals.


•This is the first study presenting high seroprevalence of Bartonella spp. in Poland. • IgG and IgM antibodies against B. quintana were found in blood samples of blood donors.


How Vector-Borne Diseases Impact Heart Health

How Vector-Borne Diseases Impact Heart Health