Bartonella infection: treatment and drug resistance

Future Microbiol. 2010 Nov;5(11):1719-31. doi: 10.2217/fmb.10.133.


Bartonella species, which belong to the α-2 subgroup of Proteobacteria, are fastidious Gram-negative bacteria that are highly adapted to their mammalian host reservoirs. Bartonella species are responsible for different clinical conditions affecting humans, including Carrion's disease, cat scratch disease, trench fever, bacillary angiomatosis, endocarditis and peliosis hepatis. While some of these diseases can resolve spontaneously without treatment, in other cases, the disease is fatal without antibiotic treatment. In this article, we discuss the antibiotic susceptibility patterns of Bartonella species, detected using several methods. We also provide an overview of Bartonella infection in humans and animals and discuss the antibiotic treatment recommendations for the different infections, treatment failure and the molecular mechanism of antibiotic resistance in these bacteria.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bartonella / drug effects*
  • Bartonella / isolation & purification
  • Bartonella Infections / drug therapy*
  • Bartonella Infections / microbiology
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests / methods


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents