Bartonella henselae infection in British Columbia: evidence for an endemic disease among humans

Can J Microbiol. 2000 Oct;46(10):908-12.


Human bartonellosis in North America is mainly associated with Bartonella henselae, and the availability of laboratory diagnostic tools has significantly heightened awareness of the spectrum of human disease that is caused by this bacterium. We detail herein examples of illness in a pediatric population which serve to confirm that B. henselae-associated disease exists in British Columbia. Seroprevalence studies among asymptomatic adults and among children with symptomatic respiratory illness of other causation demonstrated that 36.8% and 18.5% of sera, respectively, had IFA-IgG titres > or = 1:256. IFA-IgG titres did not vary significantly whether B. henselae ATCC 49793 or a local wild-type B. henselae isolate were used as substrate. An assessment of IgM response was consistent with the proposal that endemic seroprevalence is a function of past rather than recent exposure. Both clinical and serological studies are concordant in providing evidence that B. henselae is endemic in British Columbia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Bartonella henselae / immunology*
  • British Columbia / epidemiology
  • Cat-Scratch Disease / diagnosis*
  • Cat-Scratch Disease / epidemiology*
  • Cat-Scratch Disease / microbiology
  • Cats
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Endemic Diseases
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • Antibodies, Bacterial