Cohen Foundation Funds Establishment of the Bartonella Research Consortium


According to the Tulane news, a three-year, $4.8 million initiative funded by The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation, will establish the Bartonella Research Consortium with the goal of developing a novel treatment for bartonellosis. There are over 40 known Bartonella species/subspecies and at least 17 of these species/subspecies have been associated with a spectrum of debilitating disease symptoms in humans. 

The Consortium is composed of key infectious disease researchers including Drs. Edward B. Breitschwerdt, Monica E. Embers, Timothy A. Haystead and Ricardo G. Maggi that will work collaboratively to study the complex and poorly understood Bartonella pathogens to provide patient relevant solutions to benefit both animal and human health. Funding for this research initiative draws on the combined strengths of research laboratories located at Duke University, North Carolina State University and Tulane University. 

Read the full Tulane News article here

Read more LDA articles on Bartonella here



Pike County Ticks Exceed PA State Average for Carrying Tick-Borne Diseases

Deer Tick Questing
Blacklegged Deer Tick (Ixodes scapularis)

The results of a study to collect ticks from Pike County, Pennsylvania, conducted by the Northeast Wildlife DNA Laboratory of East Stroudsburg University included real time PCR analysis of ticks countywide. The county was divided into 9 grids, each with several collection sites. The sites were based on use by community members and presence of favorable tick habitat and included: state parks, state game lands, township buildings, schools, township parks, communities and hiking trails.

All life stages of Ixodes scapularis ticks (deer tick) were collected, but only nymphs and adults were tested. Other tick species were collected and counted but were not tested for organisms. I. scapularis samples were tested for Borrelia burgdorferiBorrelia miyamotoiAnaplasma phagocytophilumBabesia microti, Bartonella species, Mycoplasma species, and Powassan Virus lineage ll.

Borrelia burgdorferi prevalence in I. scapularis ticks overall was 39%, with Bartonella spp. next with 18.5%. Percentages were significantly less for the other organisms tested.

Further publications by the University on this study are expected within the next few months.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recognizes that ticks carry Bartonella but does not believe there is evidence proving transmission to humans at this time.

In 2018, the Lyme Disease Association, Inc. awarded a grant to Pike County to help support this project.

News Report


Bartonellosis (aka Bartonella illness, cat scratch fever)

Ticks have been shown to carry Bartonella, although currently, CDC indicates there is no causal evidence that ticks can transmit Bartonella through a tick bite. There is a paper of a case which does show potential for tick transmission in a canine, although a case cannot prove causation.  Many doctors who treat Lyme disease see Bartonella co-infections in their Lyme and tick-borne disease patients.   



It is known that Bartonella is transmitted through the scratches of domestic or feral cats. Infected fleas can carry the Bartonella bacteria and infect the cats and may spread it directly to people, although CDC says this is yet unproven. The disease is often called cat scratch disease.  Another strain of Bartonella is transmitted by the human body louse causing what is called trench fever. Another strain causes Carrion’s disease, formerly called bartonellosis, through the bite of a sand fly. It occurs in Western South America in high elevations of the Andes Mountains. 

Ticks that can carry Bartonella include Ixodes Scapularis (also called the blacklegged tick or deer tick) and Ixodes Pacificus (western blacklegged tick), both of which can transmit Lyme disease.  More than one co-infection can be transmitted from the same tick bite.

Bartonella henselae is associated with heartburn, abdominal pain, skin rash, mesenteric adenitis, gastritis and duodentis in children and adolescents.  Symptoms can include visual problems, headaches, significant lymph node enlargement, resistant neurological deficits and the new onset of a seizure disorder.

Diagnosis is based on acute and convalescent antibody titers (IFA) and/or positive PCR analysis.

Treatment may be combination macrolides, TCNs, rifamycin, (also possible Bactrim or fluoroquinolones).  Provided as information only. 

Click album below for photos of Bartonella rashes  /index.php/resources/medical-photos/category/27-bartonella



Link to LDA Bartonella photos

Bartonellosis rash photos


Link to paper on Bartonella

Fried et al Bartonella


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