What if bacterial infections were the cause of an epidemic of chronic illnesses but your government looked the other way?
Let's say bartonella was prevalent in 90% of beef cattle. Would you still feel comfortable eating it?
What if your cat could transmit bartonella by its flees or a scratch, would you still pet it?
What if your child could get if via head lice in school, would you believe it?
What if your endocarditis, muscle or joint paint was not due to getting old, but to a bacteria that is hard to find by a bloodtest, would you doubt about a negative result?
What if you knew antibiotics had a hard time against bartonella, would you find the courage to continue?
Bartonellosis: An emerging and potentially hidden epidemic?
PCR detection of Bartonella bovis and Bartonella henselae in the blood of beef cattle.
Intracellular Pathogens Research Laboratory, Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, United States.
Although an organism primarily associated with non-clinical bacteremia in domestic cattle and wild ruminants, Bartonellabovis was recently defined as a cause of bovine endocarditis. The purpose of this study was to develop a B. bovis species-specific PCR assay that could be used to confirm the molecular prevalence of Bartonella spp. infection. Blood samples from 142 cattle were tested by conventional PCR targeting the Bartonella 16S-23S intergenic spacer (ITS) region. Overall,Bartonella DNA was detected in 82.4% (117/142) of the cattle using either Bartonella genus primers or B. bovis species-specific primers. Based upon size, 115 of the 117 Bartonella genus ITS PCR amplicons were consistent with B. bovis infection, which was confirmed by PCR using B. bovis species-specific primers and by sequencing three randomly selected, appropriately sized Bartonella genus PCR amplicons. By DNA sequencing, Bartonella henselae was confirmed as the two remaining amplicons, showing sequence similarity to B. henselae URBHLIE 9 (AF312496) and B. henselae Houston 1 (NC_005956), respectively. Following pre-enrichment blood culture of 12 samples in Bartonella alpha Proteobacteria growth medium (BAPGM) B. henselae infection was found in another three cows. Four of the five cowsinfected with B. henselae were co-infected with B. bovis. To our knowledge this study describes the first detection of B. henselae in any large ruminant species in the world and supports the need for further investigation of prevalence and pathogenic potential of B. henselae and B. bovis in cattle.