2287: Enhanced Testing for the Diagnosis of Bartonellosis in Dogs

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $103,013
Edward B. Breitschwerdt, DVM, DACVIM; North Carolina State University
August 1, 2016 - December 31, 2018

Sponsor(s): American Shih Tzu Club, Inc., American Whippet Club, Bull Terrier Club of America, Cyclone County Kennel Club, English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association, English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association Foundation, Golden Retriever Foundation, Gordon Setter Club of America, Inc., Keeshond Club of America, Norwegian Elkhound Association of America, Inc., Scottish Terrier Club of America, Siberian Husky Club of America, Inc., TarTan Gordon Setter Club, Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Tick-Borne Disease Initiative
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Bartonellosis, a zoonotic 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.


Neupane, P., Hegarty, B. C., Marr, H. S., Maggi, R. G., Birkenheuer, A. J., & Breitschwerdt, E. B. (2018). Evaluation of cell culture-grown Bartonella antigens in immunofluorescent antibody assays for the serological diagnosis of bartonellosis in dogs. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.15301

Neupane, P., Sevala, S., Balakrishnan, N., Marr, H., Wilson, J., Maggi, R., Birkenheuer, A., Lappin, M., Chomel, B., & Breitschwerdt, E. B. (2020). Validation of Bartonella henselae Western Immunoblotting for Serodiagnosis of Bartonelloses in Dogs. Journal of Clinical Microbiology.https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.01335-19

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