Skip directly to local search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

Volume 14, Number 6—June 2008


Bartonella henselae
[bär′′ tə-nel′ə henz′ ə-lā]

Article Contents

Bartonella is a genus of gram-negative bacteria named after Peruvian scientist Alberto Leonardo Barton. He identified a unique bacterium in 1905 during an outbreak among workers building a railway between Lima and La Oroya, a mining town in the Andes. The illness, usually fatal, was characterized by fever and severe anemia. Many of the sick were brought to Guadalupe Hospital in Lima, where Dr. Barton isolated the etiologic agent (which had been transmitted by sandflies) in patients’ blood cells. It was later called Bartonella bacilliformis.

The species B. henselae was named after Diane Hensel, a technologist in the clinical microbiology laboratory, University Hospitals, Oklahoma City, who in 1985 observed a Campylobacter-like organism in blood cultures of HIV-infected patients. The organism was first named Rochalimaea henselae and then B. henselae, when sequencing showed identity with that genus.

DOI: 10.3201/eid1406.080980

Sources: Dorland’s illustrated medical dictionary, 31st edition. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2007;; Barton AL. Descripción de elementos endo-globulares hallados en las enfermos de fiebre verrucosa. La Crónica médica de Lima. 1909;26:7–10;

Related Links

Top of Page

Table of Contents – Volume 14, Number 6—June 2008

Comments to the EID Editors

Please contact the EID Editors via our Contact Form.


Past Issues

Select a Past Issue:

Art in Science - Selections from Emerging Infectious Diseases
Now available for order

CDC 24/7 – Saving Lives, Protecting People, Saving Money. Learn More About How CDC Works For You… The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO