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Volume 14, Number 6—June 2008
Etymologia

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

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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.

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid1406.080980

Sources: Dorland’s illustrated medical dictionary, 31st edition. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2007; http://www.whonamedit.com; Barton AL. Descripción de elementos endo-globulares hallados en las enfermos de fiebre verrucosa. La Crónica médica de Lima. 1909;26:7–10; http://sisbib.unmsm.edu.pe/BVrevistas/folia/Vol8_N4_dic97/bartonella.htm

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

Page created: July 09, 2010
Page updated: July 09, 2010
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The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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