Detection of Bartonella henselae and Bartonella clarridgeiae DNA in hepatic specimens from two dogs with hepatic disease

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2003 Jan 1;222(1):47-51, 35. doi: 10.2460/javma.2003.222.47.


A 4-year-old Basset Hound and a 6-year-old Doberman Pinscher were referred for diagnostic evaluation following documentation of persistently increased hepatic enzyme activities and hepatic dysfunction. Histologic evaluation of hepatic biopsy specimens from the 2 dogs revealed granulomatous hepatitis in the Basset Hound and lymphocytic hepatitis with fibrosis and copper accumulation in the Doberman Pinscher. No etiologic agents were identified histologically. Bartonella henselae DNA was subsequently amplified from hepatic tissue from the Basset Hound and Bartonella clarridgeiae was amplified from hepatic tissue from the Doberman Pinscher. Amplification was performed with a polymerase chain reaction assay incorporating primers that target a portion of the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region. Both dogs were treated with azithromycin, in combination with a variety of other medications and herbal treatments, and improved clinically. Identification of Bartonella DNA in these dogs indicates the need for future prospective studies to determine the clinical relevance of Bartonella spp infection in dogs with hepatic disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bartonella / genetics
  • Bartonella / isolation & purification*
  • Bartonella Infections / diagnosis
  • Bartonella Infections / microbiology
  • Bartonella Infections / pathology
  • Bartonella Infections / veterinary*
  • Bartonella henselae / genetics
  • Bartonella henselae / isolation & purification
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dog Diseases / microbiology
  • Dog Diseases / pathology
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Liver / microbiology*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Diseases / diagnosis
  • Liver Diseases / microbiology
  • Liver Diseases / pathology
  • Liver Diseases / veterinary*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary


  • DNA, Bacterial