Bartonella henselae, a flea-transmitted bacterium, causes chronic, zoonotic, blood stream infections in immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients throughout the world. As an intra-erythrocytic and endotheliotropic bacterium, B. henselae causes a spectrum of symptomatology ranging from asymptomatic bacteremia to fever, endocarditis and death. Veterinary workers are at occupational risk for acquiring bartonellosis. As an emerging, and incompletely understood, stealth bacterial pathogen, B. henselae may or may not have been responsible for the deaths of two veterinarians; however, recent evidence indicates that this genus is of much greater medical importance than is currently appreciated by the majority of the biomedical community.
BMC Parasites & Vectors
Breitschwerdt Parasites & Vectors (2015) 8:317