Professor of Medicine and Infectious Disease
North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Bartonella Bacteremia and Neuropsychiatric Illnesses
Dr. Edward B. Breitschwerdt is a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is also an adjunct professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center, and a Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). Dr. Breitschwerdt directs the Intracellular Pathogens Research Laboratory in the Comparative Medicine Institute at North Carolina State University. He also co-directs the Vector Borne Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory and is the director of the NCSU-CVM Biosafety Level 3 Laboratory.
A graduate of the University of Georgia, Breitschwerdt completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Missouri between 1974 and 1977. He has served as president of the Specialty of Internal Medicine and as chairperson of the ACVIM Board of Regents. He is a former associate editor for the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine and was a founding member of the ACVIM Foundation.
Breitschwerdt’s clinical interests include infectious diseases, immunology, and nephrology. For over 30 years, his research has emphasized vector-transmitted, intracellular pathogens. Most recently, his research group has contributed to cutting-edge research in the areas of animal and human bartonellosis. In addition to authoring numerous book chapters and proceedings, Dr. Breitschwerdt’s research group has published more than 450 manuscripts in peer-reviewed scientific journals. In 2012, he received the North Carolina State University Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award and in 2013, he received the Holladay Medal, the highest award bestowed on a faculty member at North Carolina State University. In 2017, Dr. Breitschwerdt received the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges Outstanding Research Award and the American Canine Health Foundation Excellence in Research Award. In 2018, he was named the Melanie S. Steele Distinguished Professor of Medicine at North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine.
Conference Lecture Summary
In the past two decades, numerous (over 40) Bartonella species have been discovered, many of which have been implicated in association with a spectrum of disease in animals and human patients. The extent to which, or the mechanisms by which Bartonella infection contributes to neuropsychiatric illnesses has not been systematically studied. However, microbiological detection of Bartonella spp. DNA in blood supports a potential role for these bacteria in neuropsychiatric diseases such as Pediatric Acute Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) and schizophrenia. The objective of this lecture will be to summarize our experiences with Bartonella species and neuropsychiatric illnesses.