237: Molecular Epidemiology of Ehrlichia and Bartonella spp. Infection in Golden Retrievers with Lymphoma

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $46,700
Edward B Breitschwerdt, DVM; North Carolina State University
July 1, 2004 - June 30, 2006


Breed(s): Golden Retriever
Research Program Area: Oncology - Lymphoma
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Bartonella spp. are a group of related bacteria, most of which have only been discovered within the last 10 years. They are able to infect and survive inside cells, causing persistent infections in mammals. Infection with Bartonella spp., however, does not always cause disease manifestations and for this reason, a positive blood test documenting infection with Bartonella spp. does not necessarily mean that Bartonella is the cause of an animal's disease. However, in people, there is growing evidence implicating Bartonella spp. as a cause of a broad spectrum of disease syndromes, and there is some evidence to support the potential that chronic Bartonella infection may contribute to the development of cancer. The purpose of this study is look for evidence of Bartonella infection in Golden Retrievers with lymphoma, as compared to a healthy control group. We will use standard serologic tests which are currently available for Bartonella spp. testing of dogs, but we will also use a newer, more broadly reaching method of molecular testing. This will allow us to test for a larger number of Bartonella spp., and may potentially provide greater test sensitivity. As previous work from our laboratory has documented co-infection with B. vinsonii (berkhoffii) and Ehrlichia canis, another tick transmitted bacteria, we will test for both of these organisms in this study.


Duncan, A. W., Marr, H. S., Birkenheuer, A. J., Maggi, R. G., Williams, L. E., Correa, M. T., & Breitschwerdt, E. B. (2008). Bartonella DNA in the Blood and Lymph Nodes of Golden Retrievers with Lymphoma and in Healthy Controls. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 22(1), 89–95. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-1676.2007.0018.x

Duncan, Ashlee W., Maggi, R. G., & Breitschwerdt, E. B. (2007). Bartonella DNA in Dog Saliva. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 13(12), 1948–1950. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid1312.070653

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