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Vet. Res.
Volume 36, Number 3, May-June 2005
Emerging or re-emerging bacterial zoonoses
Page(s) 383 - 410
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2005) 383-410
Vet. Res. 36 (2005) 383-410
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2005009

Factors associated with the rapid emergence of zoonotic Bartonella infections

Henri-Jean Boulouisa, Chao-chin Changb, Jennifer B. Hennc, Rickie W. Kastenc and Bruno B. Chomelc

a  Microbiologie-Immunologie, École Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, 7 avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94704 Maisons-Alfort, France
b  Institute of Veterinary Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, 250 Kuo-Kuang Road, Taichung 402, Taiwan, Republic of China
c  WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center on New and Emerging Zoonoses, Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA

(Received 13 October 2004; accepted 17 December 2004)

Abstract - Within the last 15 years, several bacteria of the genus Bartonella were recognized as zoonotic agents in humans and isolated from various mammalian reservoirs. Based on either isolation of the bacterium or PCR testing, eight Bartonella species or subspecies have been recognized as zoonotic agents, including B. henselae, B. elizabethae, B. grahamii, B. vinsonii subsp. arupensis, B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii, B. grahamii, B. washoensis and more recently B. koehlerae. The present manuscript reviews the factors associated with the emergence of these zoonotic pathogens, including better diagnostic tools and methods to identify these fastidious bacteria, host immunosuppression (caused by infectious agents, cancer, aging or induced by immunosuppressive drugs), the interaction of co-infection by several infectious agents that may enhanced the pathogenecity of these bacteria, increased outdoor activity leading to exposure to wildlife reservoirs or vectors, poverty and low income associated with infestation by various ectoparasites, such as body lice and finally the dispersal of Bartonellae around the world. Furthermore, a description of the main epidemiological and clinical features of zoonotic Bartonellae is given. Finally, the main means for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of these diseases are presented.

Key words: Bartonella spp. / emerging zoonoses / cat / dog / rodents

Corresponding author: Bruno B. Chomel

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005