Medical Microbiology and Immunology

, Volume 208, Issue 1, pp 101–107 | Cite as

Bartonella quintana and Bartonella vinsonii subsp. vinsonii bloodstream co-infection in a girl from North Carolina, USA

  • Edward B. BreitschwerdtEmail author
  • Ricardo G. Maggi
Original Investigation


The genus Bartonella consists of globally distributed and highly diverse alpha-proteobacteria that infect a wide-range of mammals. Medically, Bartonella spp. constitute emerging, vector-borne, zoonotic, intravascular organisms that induce long-lasting bacteremia in reservoir-adapted (passive carrier of a microorganism) hosts. At times, these bacteria are accidentally transmitted by animal scratches, bites, needles sticks or vectors to animal or human hosts. We report the first documented human case of blood stream infection with Bartonella vinsonii subsp. vinsonii in a girl from North Carolina, USA, who was co-infected with Bartonella quintana. Limitations of Bartonella spp. serology and the challenges of microbiological culture and molecular diagnostic confirmation of co-infection with more than one Bartonella spp. are discussed. When and where these infections were acquired is unknown; however, exposure to rodents, fleas and cats in the peri-equestrian environment was a suspected source for transmission of both organisms.


Bartonella quintana Bartonella vinsonii subsp. vinsonii Bacteria Vector Equestrian 



This study was supported in part by the state of North Carolina and donations to the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine Foundation fund for Bartonella/Vector Borne Disease Research. The authors thank Julie M. Bradley, Intracellular Pathogens Research Laboratory, Comparative Medicine Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, for technical assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

E.B.B., in conjunction with Sushama Sontakke and North Carolina State University, holds US Patent No. 7,115,385, Media and Methods for Cultivation of Microorganisms, which was issued October 3, 2006. E.B.B. is a founder, shareholder and the chief scientific officer for Galaxy Diagnostics, a company that provides diagnostic testing for the detection of Bartonella species and other vector borne pathogens in animals and human patients. R.G. Maggi has lead research efforts to optimize the BAPGM platform and is the scientific technical advisor for Galaxy Diagnostics.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. North Carolina State University (NCSU) Institutional Review Board provided (IRB 1960) ethical approval for this study.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from the parents of the participant included in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Intracellular Pathogens Research Laboratory, Comparative Medicine Institute, College of Veterinary MedicineNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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