Existence of Bartonella henselae reservoir in Poland

Abstract number: 1733_757

Chmielewski T., Marczak R., Sochon E., Podsiadly E., Tylewska-Wierzbanowska S.

Infections due to Bartonella species are recently considered emerging diseases. Bartonella organisms are well adapted to facilitate intracellular persistence in a wide variety of animal species, including humans.

The aim of the study was to determine the existence of Bartonella henselae reservoir and vectors of infection in the close surroundings of human beings. This is the first report about the existence of B. henselae in natural reservoirs and vectors in Poland.

The studied groups included mammals (54 dogs, 137 cats) and arthropods collected from both cats and dogs (32 fleas, 107 ticks).

Blood samples were collected from each animal and cultured on chocolate agar plates (Choc V, Oxoid) and in mouse fibroblasts L-929 cell line culture. The levels of Bartonella henselae IgM and IgG antibodies were determined by indirect immunofluorescence assay (Focus diagnostics, USA). Dogs and cats antibodies bound to the antigen were developed with anti-cat and anti-dog FITC IgG Conjugates (Sigma, Germany).

Isolated Bartonella spp. strains grown on chocolate agar and in cell line were detected and identified by PCR methods. Identification of all PCR products was confirmed by DNA sequencing. Bartonella spp. strains were isolated from blood cultures of 14 cats (10.2%). Isolates were identified as: B. henselae 18 isolates, B. clarridgeiae 1 isolate. No positive Bartonella spp. cultures were obtained from any of the 54 samples of dog blood.

Fifty-nine (45.0%) of 131 cats had specific B. henselae antibodies. Twenty seven of tested dogs (50%) had B. henselae antibodies. The majority (96.2%) of seroreactive dogs had low titers of the specific antibodies (1:32, 1:64).

Bartonella DNA was not found in 32 fleas collected from cats and from dogs. None of the ticks collected from cats were infected with Bartonella spp., whereas B. henselae DNA was detected in five ticks collected from five dogs.

These data demonstrate that in the area of central Poland B. henselae is distributed in environmental sources to which humans might be exposed. This concerns pets and their arthropod parasites.

Session Details

Date: 31/03/2007
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: ICC, Munich, Germany
Presentation type:
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