Medicine - Comparative Medicine
Epidemiology of Bartonella sp in Brazilian blood donors and domestic animals.
The Bartonella genus comprises many species and is responsible for a large number of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. They are small, fastidious Gram-negative bacilli whose growth is favored by blood enriched media and an atmosphere supplemented with 5% CO2. Bartonella spp. infect many diverse mammals. They are of zoonotic importance. Three species of Bartonella are associated with clinical manifestations in humans: Bartonella bacilliformis (agent of Oroya fever and verruga peruana), Bartonella henselae (cat scratch disease, bacillary angiomatosis, bacillary peliosis, endocarditis, septicemia), and Bartonella quintana (trench fever, bacillary angiomatosis, bacteremia, and endocarditis). Of these, B. henselae is more often related with human disease. The wide spectrum of clinical manifestations associated with these infections has rapidly emerged and the risk of transmitting these agents from blood donors to recipients should be considered. Recently, epidemiological and laboratory data suggest an important role for Bartonella spp. in transfusion medicine. Seroprevalence to B. henselae and B. quintana was established at 13.7% and 12.8% in a healthy population (437 subjects) from Minas Gerais (Brazil). Among 125 asymptomatic HIV positive patients in Brazil, 41.6% were seroreactive to Bartonella spp. In addition, Bartonella spp. can survive in stored blood for more than 35 days and have been detected in blood from healthy volunteer donors. The diagnosis was confirmed with electron microscopy.
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