Enhanced Testing for the Diagnosis of Bartonellosis in Dogs

Bartonellosis, a zoonotic bacterial disease of worldwide distribution, is caused by approximately 10 different Bartonella species. Bartonella are transmitted to canines and humans by ticks, fleas, lice, mites, and sand flies. Dr. Breitschwerdt’s laboratory demonstrated the first evidence for Bartonella infections in dogs in 1993.

Bartonella species have been associated with an expanding spectrum of important disease manifestations including anemia, endocarditis, hepatitis, lymphadenitis, myocarditis, thrombocytopenia and vascular tumor-like lesions. Infections can be life-threatening. Due to a lack of sensitive and reliable diagnostic assays, definitive diagnosis of bartonellosis in dogs remains a significant problem. Because these bacteria invade cells and infect tissues throughout the body, this chronic intracellular infection is difficult to cure with currently used antibiotic regimens.

This study will develop improved serodiagnostic tests for bartonellosis in dogs. These assays can also be used for world-wide sero-epidemiological prevalence studies, and to establish early and accurate diagnosis. Dr. Breitschwerdt’s research group has described concurrent infection in dogs, their owners and veterinary workers; this allows for a One Health approach to this important emerging infectious disease.

Co-sponsored with the AKC Canine Health Foundation, Grant Number: 02287


Dr. Edward B Breitschwerdt, DVM
North Carolina State University
Amount: $3,000