Bartonella In Ticks- Part 2

J Med Entomol. 2005 May;42(3):473-80.

Detection of Rickettsia, Borrelia, and Bartonella in Carios kelleyi (Acari: Argasidae).

Loftis AD, Gill JS, Schriefer ME, et al Viral and Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.

Carios kelleyi (Colley & Kohls 1941), a tick associated with bats and bat habitats, has been reported to feed on humans, but there is little published data regarding the presence of vector-borne pathogens in these ticks. C. kelleyi nymphs and adults were collected from residential and community buildings in Jackson County, Iowa, and tested by polymerase chain reaction for Rickettsia, Borrelia, Bartonella, Coxiella, and Anaplasma. Rickettsia DNA was detected in 28 of 31 live ticks. Sequences of the 17-kDa and rOmpA genes suggest that this agent is a novel spotted fever group Rickettsia. Transstadial and transovarial transmission of this Rickettsia were demonstrated. The flagellin gene of a Borrelia, closely related to B. turicatae, was detected in one of 31 live ticks. The 16S-23S intergenic spacer region of Bartonella henselae also was detected in one of 31 live ticks. Coxiella or A. phagocytophilum DNA were not detected in these ticks. PMID: 15962801 [PubMed - in process]


Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2004 Winter;4(4):306-9.

Semi-nested PCR detection of Bartonella henselae in Ixodes persulcatus ticks from Western Siberia, Russia.

Morozova, Cabello, Dobrotvorsky Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia.

Questing adult Ixodes persulcatus ticks from Western Siberia, Russia were tested for infections with Bartonella spp. using seminested PCR assay with primers specific to the groEL gene. The proportion of ticks infected with Bartonella spp. was 44% in 2002 (n = 50) and 38% in 2003 (n = 50). Nucleotide sequences of a portion of the PCR products corresponded to Bartonella henselae species. PMID: 15671737 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


J Infect Dis. 2005 Feb 15;191(4):607-11. Epub 2005 Jan 10.

Bartonella quintana in a 4000-year-old human tooth.

Drancourt M, Tran-Hung L, Courtin J, Lumley H, Raoult D

Unite des Rickettsies, CNR UMR 6020, IFR 48, Marseille, France.

Bacteria of the genus Bartonella are transmitted by ectoparasites (lice, fleas, ticks) and have mammalian reservoirs in which they cause chronic, asymptomatic bacteremia. Humans are the reservoir of B. quintana, the louse-borne agent of trench fever. We detected DNA of B. quintana in the dental pulp of a person who died 4000 years ago. PMID: 15655785 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Vet Res. 2005 Jan-Feb;36(1):79-87.

Evidence of Bartonella sp. in questing adult and nymphal Ixodes ricinus ticks from France and co-infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Babesia sp.

Halos L, Jamal T, et al

Ticks are known vectors for a wide range of pathogenic microorganisms. Their role in the transmission of some others is so far only suspected. Ticks can transmit multiple pathogens, however, little is known about the co-existence of these pathogens within questing ticks. We looked for the presence of DNA from three micro-organisms, Bartonella sp., Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Babesia sp. which are known or suspected tick-borne pathogens, using a cohort of 92 questing Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from pastures in northern France. DNA was extracted from each individual tick and the presence of the three pathogens was investigated using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) amplification. Nine among 92 samples (9.8%) demonstrated PCR products using Bartonella specific primers, 3 among 92 (3.3%) using Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato specific primers and 19 among 92 (20.6%) using Babesia specific primers. Seven among 92 samples (7.6%) were PCR positive for at least two of the pathogens and one sample was positive for all three. Adult ticks (12/18; 67%) showed significantly higher infection rates compared to nymphs (11/74; 15%) for all three pathogens (P < 0.001). This study is the demonstration of the simultaneous presence of Bartonella sp., Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Babesia sp. in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks. PMID: 15610725 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


J Parasitol. 2004 Jun;90(3):485-9.

Ectoparasites of gray squirrels in two different habitats and screening of selected ectoparasites for bartonellae.

Durden LA, Ellis BA, et al

Department of Biology and Institute of Arthropodology and Parasitology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia 30460-8042, USA.

Gray squirrels, Sciurus carolinensis, were livetrapped in 2 different habitat types, woodland (67 squirrels) and parkland (53 squirrels), in southeastern Georgia. Ectoparasites were recovered from anesthetized squirrels and compared between hosts from the 2 habitats. Because of the absence of low vegetation in parkland habitats, it was hypothesized that the ectoparasite fauna, especially ticks and chiggers, would be more diverse on woodland squirrels. The results were generally in agreement with this hypothesis. Seventeen species of ectoparasites were recovered from woodland squirrels, compared with 6 species from parkland squirrels. Five species of ticks and 3 species of chiggers parasitized the woodland squirrels compared with no ticks or chiggers on the parkland squirrels. Significantly higher infestation prevalences were recorded on woodland compared with parkland squirrels for the flea Orchopeas howardi, the tick Amblyomma americanum, and the mesostigmatid mite Androlaelaps fahrenholzi. The mean intensity for O. howardi also was significantly higher on woodland than on parkland squirrels. Because a new strain of Bartonella sp. was isolated recently from S. carolinensis in Georgia, selected ectoparasites from this study were screened for bartonellae by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Some of the fleas and lice, but none of the mites tested, were PCR positive, suggesting that fleas, or lice, or both, might be vectors of bartonellae between squirrels. Six distinct strains of Bartonella sp. were detected, 2 in fleas and 4 in lice. PMID: 15270090 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


J Clin Microbiol. 2004 Jun;42(6):2799-801.

Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi, Bartonella spp., Babesia microti, and Anaplasma phagocytophila in Ixodes scapularis ticks collected in Northern New Jersey.

Adelson ME, Rao RV, et al

Medical Diagnostic Laboratories L.L.C., 133 Gaither Dr., Suite C, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054, USA.

PCR analysis of Ixodes scapularis ticks collected in New Jersey identified infections with Borrelia burgdorferi (33.6%), Babesia microti (8.4%), Anaplasma phagocytophila (1.9%), and Bartonella spp. (34.5%). The I. scapularis tick is a potential pathogen vector that can cause coinfection and contribute to the variety of clinical responses noted in some tick-borne disease patients. PMID: 15184475 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2002 Winter;2(4):265-73.

Epidemiology and impact of coinfections acquired from Ixodes ticks.

Belongia EA Epidemiology Research Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, Wisconsin 54449, USA.

Ixodes scapularis and other ticks in the Ixodes ricinus complex may transmit multiple pathogens, but research on coinfections has been limited. Coinfections occur with varying frequency in ticks, but single infections are more common than dual infections. The proportion of I. scapularis or I. ricinus ticks coinfected with both Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Anaplasma phagocytophila is generally low, ranging from < 1% to 6% in six geographic areas. A higher prevalence of tick coinfection (26%) has been reported in Westchester County, New York. Genetic variants of the human disease-causing strain of A. phagocytophila are present in some tick populations, and they may affect the risk of coinfection or clinical illness. The proportion of Ixodes ticks coinfected with B. burgdorferi and Babesia microti has ranged from 2% in New Jersey to 19% on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. In humans, cross-sectional seroprevalence studies have found markers of dual infection in 9-26% of patients with a tick-borne infection, but such studies often fail to distinguish simultaneous coinfection from sequential infections. Several studies have prospectively assessed the occurrence of acute coinfection. Among patients with a confirmed tick-borne infection, coinfection rates as high as 39% have been reported. The most commonly recognized coinfection in most of the eastern United States is Lyme borreliosis (LB) and babesiosis, accounting for approximately 80% of coinfections. LB and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis coinfections are less common, occurring in 3-15% of patients with a tick-borne infection in Connecticut or Wisconsin. Studies of clinical outcomes suggest that patients with acute Babesia coinfection have more severe symptoms and a longer duration of illness than patients with LB alone, but the risk of spirochete dissemination is similar. Coinfections can modify the immune response and alter the severity of arthritis in animal models. Future coinfection research should focus on long-term clinical outcomes, the role of genetic variants, immunologic effects, and the potential role of Bartonella species as tick-borne pathogens. PMID: 12804168 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Emerg Infect Dis. 2003 Mar;9(3):329-32.

Bartonella henselae in Ixodes ricinus ticks (Acari: Ixodida) removed from humans, Belluno province, Italy.

Sanogo YO, Zeaiter Z, Caruso G, et al Faculte de Medecine, Marseille, France.

The potential role of ticks as vectors of Bartonella species has recently been suggested. In this study, we investigated the presence of Bartonella species in 271 ticks removed from humans in Belluno Province, Italy. By using primers derived from the 60-kDa heat shock protein gene sequences, Bartonella DNA was amplified and sequenced from four Ixodes ricinus ticks (1.48%). To confirm this finding, we performed amplification and partial sequencing of the pap31 protein and the cell division protein ftsZ encoding genes. This process allowed us to definitively identify B. henselae (genotype Houston-1) DNA in the four ticks. Detection of B. henselae in these ticks might represent a highly sensitive form of xenodiagnosis. B. henselae is the first human-infecting Bartonella identified from Ixodes ricinus, a common European tick and the vector of various tickborne pathogens. The role of ticks in the transmission of bartonellosis should be further investigated. PMID: 12643827 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


J Microbiol Methods. 2003 Feb;52(2):251-60.

Application of broad-range 16S rRNA PCR amplification and DGGE fingerprinting for detection of tick-infecting bacteria. Schabereiter-Gurtner C, Lubitz W, Rolleke S.

Institute of Microbiology and Genetics, University of Vienna, Dr Bohr-Gasse 9, 1030 Vienna, Austria.

Ticks play an important role in the transmission of arthropod-borne diseases of viral, protozoal and bacterial origin. The present article describes a molecular-biological based method, which facilitated the broad-range analyses of bacterial communities in ixodid ticks (Ixodes ricinus). DNA was extracted both from single ticks and pooled adult ticks. Eubacterial 16S rRNA gene fragments (16S rDNA) were amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with broad-range ribosomal primers. Sequences spanning the hypervariable V3 region of the 16S rDNA and representing individual bacterial taxons were separated by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). For phylogenetic identification, DGGE bands were exised, cloned and sequenced. In addition, we set up a 16S rDNA clone library which was screened by DGGE. Sequences were compared with sequences of known bacteria listed in the GenBank database. A number of bacteria were affiliated with the genera Rickettsia, Bartonella, and Borrelia, which are known to be pathogenic and transmitted by ticks. Two sequences were related to the yet to be cultivated Haemobartonella. To our knowledge, Haemobartonella has never been directly detected in I. ricinus. In addition, members of the genera Staphylococcus, Rhodococcus, Pseudomonas, and Moraxella were detected, which have not been identified in ticks so far. Two bacteria were most closely related to a rickettsial endosymbiont of an Acanthamoeba sp., and to an endosymbiont (Legionellaceae, Coxiella group) of the microarthropod Folsomia candida. The results prove that 16S rDNA genotyping in combination with DGGE analysis is a promising approach for the detection and identification of bacteria infecting ticks, regardless of whether these bacteria are fastidious, obligate intracellular or noncultivable.

PMID: 12459246 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2002 Aug;67(2):135-6.

First molecular evidence of new Bartonella spp. in fleas and a tick from Peru.

Parola P, Shpynov S, Montoya M, et al

Unite des Rickettsies, Faculte de Medecine, Universite de la Mediterranee, Marseille, France.

Fleas, lice, and ticks collected in Peru in a suburban area of Cusco in November 1998 were tested by polymerase chain reaction for the presence of Bartonella DNA using primers amplifying a fragment of the intergenic spacer region (ITS) gene. Three new Bartonella genotypes were detected in Pulex fleas self-collected from the beds and clothes of schoolchildren and adults. A fourth new genotype was also detected from a tick found on a sheep in the same area. One of the genotypes is closely related to B. vinsoni subsp. berkhoffii, and the others seem to originate from unknown Bartonella species, whose medical importance has yet to be clarified. PMID: 12389935 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2002 Jan;66(1):80-5.

Fourteen-year seroepidemiological study of zoonoses in a Greek village.

Antoniou M, Economou I, Wang X, et al Laboratory of Clinical Bacteriology Parasitotlogy Zoonoses and Geographical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece.

A seroepidemiological study carried out in a high-risk village in Crete in 1985-1987 and 1998 showed that although the awareness of the people concerning zoonoses had increased during this period, the situation did not improve: there was a significant increase of the spread of seroprevalence in time and space of Coxiella burnetii, Rickettsia typhi, Brucella sp., and Entamoeba histolytica. Toxoplasma gondii, Rickettsia conorii, Borrelia burgdorferi, Echinococcus granulosus, Leishmania sp., and Fasciola hepatica stayed at the same levels. This first study of Bartonella henselae in Crete showed that 15.9% of the children tested were seropositive. The results indicate that reservoirs and vectors of the pathogens studied are widespread in the environment, and the way of life of the people favors contact with them. Seven of 30 milk samples were positive for Brucella sp. by seminested polymerase chain reaction. PMID: 12135274 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2001 Apr 1;218(7):1092-7.

Assessing the association between the geographic distribution of deer ticks and seropositivity rates to various tick-transmitted disease organisms in dogs.

Hinrichsen VL, Whitworth UG, Breitschwerdt EB, et al

Center for Vector-Borne Disease, University of Rhode Island, Kingston 02881, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the geographic distribution of deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis) was associated with the distribution of dogs seropositive for various tick-transmitted disease organisms (ie, Borrelia burgdorferi, Rickettsia rickettsii, the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis [HGE] agent, Ehrlichia canis, and Bartonella vinsonii subsp berkhoffii). DESIGN: Serologic survey. SAMPLE POPULATION: Serum samples from 277 dogs in animal shelters and veterinary hospitals in Rhode Island. RESULTS: Overall, 143 (52%) dogs were seropositive for B burgdorferi, 59 (21.3%) were seropositive for R rickettsii, 40 (14.4%) were seropositive for the HGE agent, 8 (2.9%) were seropositive for E canis, and 6 (2.2%) were seropositive for B vinsonii. Regression analysis indicated that the natural logarithm of nymphal deer tick abundance was correlated with rate of seropositivity to the HGE agent and to B burgdorferi but not to rate of seropositivity to R rickettsii, E canis, or B vinsonii. Percentages of samples seropositive for B burgdorferi, R rickettsii, the HGE agent, and E canis were significantly higher for samples from the southwestern part of the state where ticks in general and deer ticks in particular are abundant than for samples from the northern and eastern portions of the state, where ticks are relatively rare. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results suggested that all 5 disease agents are in Rhode Island and pose a risk to dogs and humans. Knowledge concerning tick distributions may be useful in predicting the pattern of disease associated with particular tick species and may aid diagnostic, prevention, and control efforts.

PMID: 11318358 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


J Clin Microbiol. 2001 Apr;39(4):1221-6.

Molecular evidence of Bartonella spp. in questing adult Ixodes pacificus ticks in California.

Chang CC, Chomel BB, Kasten RW, et al

Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.

Ticks are the vectors of many zoonotic diseases in the United States, including Lyme disease, human monocytic and granulocytic ehrlichioses, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Most known Bartonella species are arthropod borne. Therefore, it is important to determine if some Bartonella species, which are emerging pathogens, could be carried or transmitted by ticks. In this study, adult Ixodes pacificus ticks were collected by flagging vegetation in three sites in Santa Clara County, Calif. PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism and partial sequencing of 273 bp of the gltA gene were applied for Bartonella identification. Twenty-nine (19.2%) of 151 individually tested ticks were PCR positive for Bartonella. Male ticks were more likely to be infected with Bartonella than female ticks (26 versus 12%, P = 0.05). None of the nine ticks collected at Baird Ranch was PCR positive for Bartonella. However, 7 (50%) of 14 ticks from Red Fern Ranch and 22 (17%) of 128 ticks from the Windy Hill Open Space Reserve were infected with Bartonella. In these infected ticks, molecular analysis showed a variety of Bartonella strains, which were closely related to a cattle Bartonella strain and to several known human-pathogenic Bartonella species and subspecies: Bartonella henselae, B. quintana, B. washoensis, and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii. These findings indicate that I. pacificus ticks may play an important role in Bartonella transmission among animals and humans.

PMID: 11283031 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Am J Vet Res. 1997 May;58(5):467-71.

Epidemiologic evaluation of the risk factors associated with exposure and seroreactivity to Bartonella vinsonii in dogs.

Pappalardo BL, Correa MT, York CC, et al

Department of Companion Animal and Special Species Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27606, USA.

OBJECTIVES: To determine seroprevalence to Bartonella vinsonii subsp berkhoffii in a population of sick dogs from North Carolina and Virginia and to evaluate potential risk factors associated with increased likelihood of exposure to the organism. SAMPLE POPULATION: Serum samples from 1,920 sick dogs. PROCEDURE: An indirect fluorescent antibody assay was performed on each sample, and the end-point antibody titer was recorded. A case (seropositive) was defined as a dog with reciprocal titer > or = 64, and a control (seronegative) was defined as a dog with reciprocal titer < 16 that was referred within 0 to 3 days of referral of a corresponding case. From this population, 207 dogs (69 cases and 138 controls) were included in a case-control seroepidemiologic study. RESULTS: 3.6% (69/1,920) of the dogs were seropositive to B vinsonii subsp berkhoffii. Results of the case-control study indicated that seropositive dogs were more likely to live in rural environments, frequently on a farm, were free to roam the neighborhood, and were considered to be predominantly outdoor dogs. Moreover, seropositive dogs were 14 times more likely to have a history of heavy tick exposure. After analysis of the case-control study, a more detailed examination of banked sera from dogs with known tick exposure was performed. High correlation was found between sero-reactivity to B vinsonii and seroreactivity to E canis or B canis (36.0 and 57.1%, respectively). Sera derived from dogs experimentally infected with E canis or R rickettsii did not cross react with B vinsonii antigen. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Several potential risk factors are associated with canine exposure to B vinsonii. Rhipicephalus sanguineus, the tick vector for E canis and B canis, may be involved in B vinsonii transmission among dogs. PMID: 9140552 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Rocz Akad Med Bialymst. 1996;41(1):129-35.

Unknown species of rickettsiae isolated from Ixodes ricinus tick in Walcz.

Kruszewska D, Tylewska-Wierzbanowska S.

National Institute of Hygiene, Warsaw, Poland.

Ticks Ixodes ricinus have been harvested in park down-town Walcz in June 1994. Presence of Borrelia burgdorferi and rickettsiae has been tested with PCR. B. burgdorferi and Coxiella burnetii have not been detected in any tick whereas characteristic for other rickettsiae DNA fragment of gene encoding citrate-synthase has been found. Bacterial strain has been cultured from the tick. Biochemical properties of isolated strain has strongly suggested that these bacteria belong to genus Bartonella (Rochalimaea). Further identification of bacterial DNA with RFLP-PCR (restriction fragment length polymorphism-PCR) has shown characteristics of Bartonella bacilliformis species not recognised in Poland until recently.

PMID: 8673798 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


J Clin Microbiol. 2004 June; 42(6): 2799–2801. doi: 10.1128/JCM.42.6.2799-2801 2004, American Society for Microbiology

Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi, Bartonella spp., Babesia microti, and Anaplasma phagocytophila in Ixodes scapularis Ticks Collected in Northern New Jersey

Martin E. Adelson,1 Raja-Venkitesh S. Rao,1 Richard C. Tilton,1 Kimberly Cabets,1 Eugene Eskow,2 Lesley Fein,3 James L. Occi,4 and Eli Mordechai1*

Medical Diagnostic Laboratories L.L.C., Mt. Laurel, New Jersey 08504,1 4 Walter Foran Boulevard, Suite 103, Flemington, New Jersey 08822,2 1099 Bloomfield Avenue, West Caldwell, New Jersey, 07006,3 Graduate Program in Biology, Rutgers University, New Jersey 071024

*Corresponding author. Mailing address: Medical Diagnostic Laboratories L.L.C., 133 Gaither Dr., Suite C, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054. Phone: (856) 608-1696. Fax: (856) 608-1667. E-mail: Received September 15, 2003; Revised January 7, 2004; Accepted March 9, 2004.

PCR analysis of Ixodes scapularis ticks collected in New Jersey identified infections with Borrelia burgdorferi (33.6%), Babesia microti (8.4%), Anaplasma phagocytophila (1.9%), and Bartonella spp. (34.5%). The I. scapularis tick is a potential pathogen vector that can cause coinfection and contribute to the variety of clinical responses noted in some tick-borne disease patients. Read More...

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Last Updated- April 2019

Lucy Barnes