Bartonella quintana characteristics and clinical management

Emerg Infect Dis. 2006 Feb;12(2):217-23. doi: 10.3201/eid1202.050874.


Bartonella quintana, a pathogen that is restricted to human hosts and louse vectors, was first characterized as the agent of trench fever. The disease was described in 1915 on the basis of natural and experimental infections in soldiers. It is now recognized as a reemerging pathogen among homeless populations in cities in the United States and Europe and is responsible for a wide spectrum of conditions, including chronic bacteremia, endocarditis, and bacillary angiomatosis. Diagnosis is based on serologic analysis, culture, and molecular biology. Recent characterization of its genome allowed the development of modern diagnosis and typing methods. Guidelines for the treatment of B. quintana infections are presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Bartonella quintana / classification*
  • Bartonella quintana / genetics
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging* / epidemiology
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging* / microbiology
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging* / physiopathology
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pediculus / microbiology
  • Trench Fever* / epidemiology
  • Trench Fever* / microbiology
  • Trench Fever* / physiopathology
  • Trench Fever* / therapy