Does Bartonella Contribute to the Occurrence of Cutaneous Lesions and Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Patients?

Edward Breitschwerdt, DVM

Results of the study, “Bartonella Associated Cutaneous Lesions (BACL) in People with Neuropsychiatric Symptoms” was recently published in the journal, Pathogens, as part of the special issue, “The Evolving Biomedical Importance of Bartonella Species Infections.” The study’s authors describe Bartonella spp. test results for participants who reported neuropsychiatric symptoms, with a majority reporting the concurrent incidence of cutaneous lesions.

Participants completed a medical history and risk factor questionnaire, as well as provided photographs of their cutaneous lesions. As well, Bartonella spp. serology and Bartonella alpha proteobacteria enrichment blood culture/PCR were reviewed. The study took place over a 14-month period, during which 33 total participants enrolled. Twenty-nine of the 33 participants had serological and/or PCR evidence supporting Bartonella spp. infection. Of these, 24 reported concurrent cutaneous lesions since the onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms.

The researchers conclude that cutaneous lesions were common among people reporting neuropsychiatric symptoms and Bartonella spp. infection or exposure to infection. Furthered studies, using sensitive microbiological and imaging techniques, are necessary to determine if, or to what extent, Bartonella spp. contributes to the occurrence of cutaneous lesions and neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients.

Read the peer-reviewed study, “Bartonella Associated Cutaneous Lesions (BACL) in People with Neuropsychiatric Symptoms” in the journal Pathogens.

The Lyme Disease Association, Inc. (LDA) awarded lead author Edward B. Breitschwerdt, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM), a grant in 2020 for Bartonella research and awarded a grant in 2019 for Bartonella research, still ongoing, to a team of researchers including Dr. Breitschwerdt. 

See LDA website article: LDA Has Awarded 121 Research Grants Since 1992