Skip to content

Information and Resources

Font Size

Bartonellosis

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Bartonellosis is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • cat scratch disease
  • Carrion's disease
  • trench fever

General Discussion

Summary
Bartonellosis is a group of emerging infectious diseases caused by bacteria belonging to the Bartonella genus. Bartonella includes at least 22 named species of bacteria that are mainly transmitted by carriers (vectors), including fleas, lice, or sandflies. Both domestic and wild animals can be infected with Bartonella species (Bartonella spp) by these vectors. Among the Bartonella spp, at least 14 have been implicated in diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people (zoonotic disease). Of these zoonotic species, several may be transmitted to humans by companion animals (dogs and cats), typically through a bite or scratch.

Human diseases that have been identified to be caused by one of the Bartonella spp bacteria include cat scratch fever (Bartonella henselae), Carrion's disease (Bartonella bacilliformis), and trench fever (Bartonella quintana). Symptoms of a Bartonella infection include fever, fatigue, malaise, swollen lymph nodes, joint aches and swelling, neurological abnormalities, and skin rash or markings.

Bartonella spp have also been associated with diseases of the skin (bacillary angiomatosis), liver (peliosis hepatis), heart (endocarditis), eyes (neuroretinis), blood (bacteremia), and brain (encephalopathy). Emerging research suggests an association of Bartonella with chronic health conditons affecting the central nervous system, joints, and vascular system in patients with both healthy and compromised immune systems.

Bartonella infection does not always result in manifestation of illness. A number of studies have detected clinically healthy people that have tested positive (seropositive) for Bartonella and those who become ill usually develop mild disease that tends to end without treatment (self-limiting). Immunocompromised patients, such as those undergoing immunosuppressive treatments for cancer, organ transplant patients, and people with HIV/AIDS, are more likely to develop severe, life-threatening disease.

Introduction
In 1909, Dr. Alberto Barton discovered the organism that became named Bartonell bacilliformis. Diseases caused by Bartonella spp occur all over the United States and in all major regions of the world, with higher prevalence occurring in areas that harbor insect carriers (arthropod vectors).

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
Tel: (404)639-3534
Tel: (800)232-4636
TDD: (888)232-6348
Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
Internet: http://www.cdc.gov/

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Office of Communications and Government Relations
6610 Rockledge Drive, MSC 6612
Bethesda, MD 20892-6612
Tel: (301)496-5717
Fax: (301)402-3573
Tel: (866)284-4107
TDD: (800)877-8339
Email: ocpostoffice@niaid.nih.gov
Internet: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/

World Health Organization (WHO)
Avenue Appia 20
Geneva 27, 1211
Switzerland
Tel: 41227912111
Fax: 41227913111
Internet: http://www.who.int/en/

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

For a Complete Report:

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  9/26/2012
Copyright  1986, 1994, 2001, 2009, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization of Rare Disorders

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

feet
Solutions for 19 types.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
Woman running
Boost Your Metabolism.
build a better butt
How to build a better butt.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
young woman in sun
What to watch for.
brain scan with soda
Tips to kick the habit.
row of colored highlighter pens
Tips for living better.
stressed working woman
And how to fix them?
fat caliper
Check your BMI.
woman dreaming
What Do Your Dreams Say About You?
man with indigestion
How to keep yours at bay.

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.