Pinna Parpaglia, Maria Luisa and Masu, Gabriella and Masala, Giovanna and Porcu, Rosaura and Zobba, Rosanna and Pintori, Gianpaolo and Cocco, Raffaella (2007) Seroprevalence of Bartonella henselae in dogs and cats in Sassari. Veterinary Research Communications, Vol. 31 (suppl. 1), p. 317-320. eISSN 1573-7446. Article.
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Bartonella spp. belong to the a2 subgroup of the class Proteobacteria, family Bartonellaceaeand genus Bartonella which comprises many species, eleven of which have been shown to be pathogens for humans (Chomel et al., 2006). Bartonellosis is considered an emerging zoonosis for the increase of clinical cases in humans and for the mount of species involved (Fenollar et al., 2005). Since 1992 Bartonella henselae has been considered the main causative agent of “Cat Scratch Disease” (CSD). The most frequent route of transmission to humans is via cat bites and scratches which, in natural conditions, very rarely manifest clinical signs, even if they remain bacteremic for a long period of time (Fabbi et al., 2004a). Persistent bacteremia (>2 years) in asymptomatic cats represents the most important factor that facilitates the spread of the microorganism (Marsilio and Di Martino, 2005). Six species of Bartonella have been identified as pathogens in dogs and among them there is Bartonella henselae (Mesax et al., 2002; Chomel et al., 2006), which was reported for the first time in 2000 as causative agent of disease in dog (Kitchell et al., 2000). Some vectors, such as ticks and fleas, have an important role for the transmission of infection. In fact, during the blood meal they can transmit the infection to other animals and so they are able to maintain or reproduce the bacterium in the organism (Boulouis et al., 2005; Chomel et al., 2006).
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