Bartonella spp. bacteremia and rheumatic symptoms in patients from Lyme disease-endemic region

Emerg Infect Dis. 2012 May;18(5):783-91. doi: 10.3201/eid1805.111366.

Abstract

Bartonella spp. infection has been reported in association with an expanding spectrum of symptoms and lesions. Among 296 patients examined by a rheumatologist, prevalence of antibodies against Bartonella henselae, B. koehlerae, or B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii (185 [62%]) and Bartonella spp. bacteremia (122 [41.1%]) was high. Conditions diagnosed before referral included Lyme disease (46.6%), arthralgia/arthritis (20.6%), chronic fatigue (19.6%), and fibromyalgia (6.1%). B. henselae bacteremia was significantly associated with prior referral to a neurologist, most often for blurred vision, subcortical neurologic deficits, or numbness in the extremities, whereas B. koehlerae bacteremia was associated with examination by an infectious disease physician. This cross-sectional study cannot establish a causal link between Bartonella spp. infection and the high frequency of neurologic symptoms, myalgia, joint pain, or progressive arthropathy in this population; however, the contribution of Bartonella spp. infection, if any, to these symptoms should be systematically investigated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis / microbiology
  • Bacteremia / diagnosis
  • Bacteremia / epidemiology*
  • Bacteremia / microbiology
  • Bartonella / classification
  • Bartonella / genetics
  • Bartonella / isolation & purification*
  • Bartonella Infections / diagnosis
  • Bartonella Infections / epidemiology*
  • Bartonella Infections / microbiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lyme Disease / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Typing
  • Serotyping
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult