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Vet. Res.
Volume 37, Number 4, July-August 2006
Page(s) 565 - 577
Published online 28 April 2006
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2006) 565-577
Vet. Res. 37 (2006) 565-577
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2006019

Cat-scratch disease in veterinary-associated populations and in its cat reservoir in Taiwan

Chao-chin Changa, Chiu-Ching Leeb, Soichi Maruyamac, Jen-Wei Lind and Ming-Jeng Panb, e

a  Graduate Institute of Veterinary Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
b  Department of Veterinary Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
c  Laboratory of Veterinary Public Health, Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, Kanagawa, Japan
d  Department of Veterinary Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
e  Institute of Medical Biotechnology, Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, No.11, Buzih Lane, Beitun District, Taichung 40601, Taiwan

(Received 17 August 2005; accepted 17 January 2006; published online 28 April 2006)

Abstract - In Taiwan, the first human case of cat-scratch disease (CSD) was diagnosed by a serologic test in 1998. Since then, no studies have been conducted to understand the epidemiology of the infection in Taiwan. Therefore, this study is the first epidemiologic survey of CSD in cats and humans in this country. Using veterinary-associated individuals as the study population, it was identified that 1.7% of them were seropositive for B. henselae, and residence was the only factor associated with seropositivity. Bartonella species were successfully isolated from 25 (19.1%) of the 131 cats tested. Only B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae were obtained from bacteremic cats. Furthermore, 9.2% of 131 cats were dually-infected with genotypes I and II of B. henselae. It is the highest prevalence of co-infection that has ever been reported worldwide. In cats, the seroprevalence was 23.7% by indirect immunofluorescence antibody assay with B. henselae Houston-1 (type I) as the antigen. When 12 bacteremic but seronegative cats were re-tested by IFA slides coated with B. henselae U-4 antigen (type II), 9 cats were identified to be seropositive. Our study further suggested that using only direct PCR of 16S-23S rRNA intergenic region or the combination of the PCR method and indirect immuno-fluorescence test will be useful to diagnose Bartonella-free cats.

Key words: Bartonella / cat scratch disease / cat / veterinary-associated population / Taiwan

Corresponding author: Ming-Jeng Pan

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006