Characterization of the first Bartonella henselae strain isolated from a cat in Italy

Lorenzo Ciceroni, Massimo Fabbi, Simonetta Ciarrocchi, Antonella Pinto, Alessandra Ciervo, Rickie W. Kasten, Bruno B Chomel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Bartonella henselae has been identified and characterized for the first time in Italy. A strain, designed Pavia-1, was isolated from the blood of a cat whose owner developed cat scratch disease (CSD). Pavia-1 and two American B. henselae strains (Houston-1, ATCC 49882, type I and strain 269608, UC Davis, type II) were compared by whole-cell fatty analysis (CFA), sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) for protein profiles, Western immunoblotting (WB) for reactivity with polyclonal antibodies, polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), type-specific 16S rRNA PCRs, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Bartonella clarridgeiae (ATCC 51734) was also included for comparison. Pavia-1 was identified as a B. henselae type I. PFGE allowed differentiation between B. clarridgeiae and B. henselae and furthermore, between all the B. henselae strains. The fingerprints of PFGE observed for Pavia-1 were distinct from those of B. henselae type II and also of Houston-1, suggesting that the two type I strains derived from two different clones. These results show the capability of B. henselae to develop genotypic variability between genetically related strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-228
Number of pages12
JournalComparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Bartonella henselae
  • Cat
  • Characterization
  • Italy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)


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