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Bartonella quintana

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A facultative gram-negative rod involved in various infections including endocarditis, chronic bacteremia, bacillary angiomatosis and bacillary peliosis.


Bartonella quintana has a size of at least 0.3-0.5 micrometer wide and 1-1.7 micrometer long composed of single circular chromosome containing 1,308 genes located in the erythrocytes during asymptomatic bacteremia and it has a tropism for endothelial cells leading to angioproliferative lesions in bacillary angiomatosis. It has a pili and specialized extension of the outer membrane that plays an important role in adhesion to nucleated cells.

Bartonella quintana shows rough colonies in cultured media grown with blood agar incubated for 12-14 days but prolonged incubation is needed for at most 45 days. It is an opportunistic infectious agent primarily in immunocompromised patients and alcoholic individuals. It is the main caused of trench fever recognized in World War 1 affected more than a million people particularly the military.

Bartonella quintana is a pathogen limited only to human host and louse vectors identified in 1915 during the infections occurs in many soldiers which is now remerging pathogen among itinerant population in various countries accountable for a broad spectrum of conditions such as endocarditis, chronic bacteremia and bacillary angiomatosis that able to grow, adapt, survived and replicate in different environment.

Former name: Rochalimaea quintana

Scientific classification:

Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Order: Rhizobiales
Family: Bartonellaceae
Genus: Bartonella
Species: Bartonella quintana

See also:


Trench fever