Bartonella infections

Below you will find more information about Bartonella infections from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Bartonella infections it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Bartonella infections and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Bartonella infections comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.


Bartonella infections previously known as Rochalimaea it is a genus of Gram-negative bacteria. Bartonella species may contaminate healthy people though are considered particularly essential as opportunistic pathogens. Bartonella is spread by insect vectors like fleas, ticks, sand flies and mosquitoes. It is known that eight Bartonella species or subspecies are recognized to infect humans. Bartonella rochalimae was the sixth species discovered in June 2007 that is recognized to infect humans and also the ninth species and subspecies generally recognized to infect humans.


The treatment is based on which strain of Bartonella is discovered in a certain patient. For immuno-compromised patients they must be treated with antibiotics because they are above all susceptible to general disease and bacteremia. Drugs of particular efficiency consist of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, and rifampin; B. henselae is generally resistant to amoxicillin, penicillin and nafcillin.

Historical Background

For thousands of years Bartonella species have been infecting humans as shown by Bartonella quintana DNA in a 4000 year old tooth. Alberto Leonardo Barton Thompson is the person whom they named the genus, born in Argentina a Peruvian scientist. In 1999, bartonella was discovered to be a tick borne pathogen. Some species are a human pathogens carried by rats. Doctors curing Lyme disease initially reported that their patients were co-infected with Bartonella this was reported in 2001. A lot of researches has indicated that Bartonella is not only a tick borne but a trandmitted tick pathogen though actual transportation via this path has not been proven yet.

Infection cycle

The transmitting vectors are blood-sucking arthropods and the reservoir hosts are mammals and this is shown recently in a recognized model. The bacteria inhabit a primary niche after infection, the endothelial cells. A portion of the Bartonella in the endothelial cells is on the loose in the blood stream where they infect erythrocytes and it happens every five days. Within a phagosomal membrane inside the erythrocytes the bacteria then replicates and invades. Bacteria increases inside the erythrocytes until they attain a serious population mass. From this point, the Bartonella has basically to remain until it is taken with the erythrocytes by a blood-sucking arthropod.

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