Our lab will be closed Thu, Dec 24 and Fri, Dec 25, 2015 and Fri, Jan 1, 2016.  Please store any samples collected Wed, Dec 23 or Thu, Dec 31 in the refrigerator for shipment the following Monday.

Great progress in 2015!!

We saw significant advances in 2015 in Bartonella research findings and in awareness about the importance of Bartonellosis (Bartonella spp infection) in human and animal health.  To mention a few…

High Risk Populations:  People who live and work with animals are at high risk of Bartonella spp infection, especially those individuals with compromised immune function.  A recent Italian study reported a Bartonella henselaeseroprevalence rate of 21% in patients awaiting a heart transplant (n=38), compared to zero positive titres in healthy controls (n=50).

Cardiovascular Disease:  As the leading cause of culture negative endocarditis, Bartonella cause an intravascular infection that can localize to heart tissue. Two important reviews were published this year examining the potential influence of Bartonella infection on cardiovascular function.  French researchers present a large case series study (n=106), remarking that Bartonella endocarditis reports are on the rise as a result of better awareness and better diagnostic tools.  In a second study, Italian researchers propose a likely disease mechanism,  arguing that “the discovery that Bartonella henselae can infect and damage EPCs” (endothelial progenitor cells), suggests that “this infection could impair the cardiovascular regenerative potential and increase the risk for cardiovascular disease.”

Neurovascular Disease: Bartonella has been linked to both motor and cognitive dysfunction in patients. A case report out of the University of North Carolina calls for a closer look at the role of Bartonella henselae infection (Cat Scratch Disease) in patients with seizures (status epilecticus), further suggesting immune-mediation factors which may play a role.

Oncology:  Bartonella can lead to the growth of vasoproliferative tumors in many areas of the body.  In a recent study, Polish researchers find that 25% of pediatric bartonellosis patient present with atypical CSD symptoms, including lesions that mimick the oncological process.  In spite of significant diagnostic challenges, they recommend that bartonellosis be ruled out as a possible explanation for atypical lesions appearing on the head, neck and upper extremities.

Upcoming Research:  Clinicians frequently report an association between skin striations and neuro-psychological symptoms in teenagers.  Dr. Marna Ericson at the University of Minnesota Medical School is developing a study to investigate the potential role of Bartonella in skin striae.  Please support this important research by making a donation to Dr Ericson’s lab.

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