The most common disease resulting from Bartonella infection is Cat Scratch Fever or Cat-scratch disease. Symptoms include sterile suppurative papules, slight fever, headache, chills, backache, abdominal pain, malaise, alteration of mental status, and convulsions.
It may take 7 days to two months for Bartonella symptoms appear. Most cases are benign and self-limiting, but lymphadenopathy may persist for several months after other symptoms disappear. The prognosis is generally favorable within one month. Most cases occur in fall and winter in temperate climates.
In immunocompromised patients more severe complications sometimes occur. Bartonella infection has also been linked to Bacillary angiomatosis, Bacillary peliosis, Endocarditis, Bacteremia with fever, Carrion's disease, Myocarditis, Neuroretinitis and Trench Fever. Homeless IV drug users are at increased infection risk.
Transmission and Host Sources
Transmitters are blood-sucking arthropods including ticks, fl eas and body louse. Reservoir hosts are mammals such as domesticated cats, mice, squirrels, rats and dogs.
Bartonella Infection Cycle
Immediately after infection, the bacteria colonize a primary niche, the endothelial cells. Every 5 days a part of the Bartonella in the endothelial cells are released in the blood stream where they infect erythrocytes. The bacteria then invade and replicate inside the erythrocytes where they multiply to a certain density, and where the erythrocyte is still functioning properly. At this point, the Bartonella simply wait to be taken with the erythrocytes by a blood-sucking arthropod.
Bartonella and Lyme Disease Co-infection
Physicians first reported in 2001 that patients were co-infected with Bartonella and Lyme Disease. Multiple reports of this finding indicate that Bartonella is a tick-transmitted pathogen. Therefore, Lyme patients should be tested for Bartonella co-infection and treated accordingly. It is important to remember, in treating these conditions homeopathically, to include Drainage Remedies and Smart Silver as part of a successful therapy.