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Volume 16, Number 3—March 2010


Bartonella spp. Transmission by Ticks Not Established

Sam R. Telford and Gary P. WormserComments to Author 
Author affiliations: Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, Massachussetts, USA (S.R. Telford III); New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, USA (G.P. Wormser)

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Table 1

Reasons that Bartonella species might be transmitted by ticks

• Certain other arthropods can transmit Bartonella species.
• Seropositivity to B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii in dogs correlates with tick exposure and with seropositivity to other tick-borne pathogens. Seropositivity to B. henselae in feral cats in the United Kingdom correlated with seropositivity to Borrelia burgdorferi.
Bartonella spp. DNA is present in ticks.
• Cases of B. henselae infection with preceding tick bite have been reported.
• Transstadial transmission of B. henselae in Ixodes ricinus ticks and transmission by I. ricinus ticks during a blood meal using an artificial feeding system have been shown.
• Case control study of cat-scratch disease found a significant association with having had a tick on the body, but this association lost statistical significance on a bivariate analysis controlling for kitten exposure.
Bartonella spp. are commonly present in Peromyscus leucopus mice, a major host for deer ticks and a main reservoir of Borrelia burgdorferi.

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