Discovery and analysis of Bartonella henselae antigens for use in clinical serologic assays

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2008 Jan;60(1):17-23. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2007.07.017. Epub 2007 Sep 21.


The antibody response to Bartonella henselae has been studied in a number of mammals; however, the human response needs to be further studied. After natural infection, humans have antibody reactivity to a large number of B. henselae proteins. We used a proteomic approach to identify antigenic proteins of B. henselae to determine their capacity to elicit a human antibody response. Comparing patient sera by Western blot analysis demonstrated significant amounts of reactivity to B. henselae. The immunofluorescence assay (IFA)-positive sera identified several protein spots of interest. However, a consistent reactivity to a single spot by all sera was not observed. Three of these spots demonstrated reactivity in 71%, 64%, and 64% of positive sera tested with negligible reactivity to the negative sera. These proteins were identified as GroES, BepA, and GroEL. Most IFA-positive sera demonstrated reactivity to GroES, GroEL, and BepA. The usefulness of these proteins for a clinical serologic assay is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Angiomatosis, Bacillary / diagnosis
  • Angiomatosis, Bacillary / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Antigens, Bacterial / analysis
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / analysis
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology*
  • Bartonella henselae / immunology*
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Humans
  • Proteomics
  • Serologic Tests


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins