Dogs can be infected by a wide variety of Bartonella species. However, limited data is available on experimental infection of dogs with Bartonella strains isolated from domestic animals or wildlife. We report the inoculation of six dogs with Bartonella henselae (feline strain 94022, 16S rRNA type II) in three sets of two dogs, each receiving a different inoculum dose), four dogs inoculated with B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii type I (ATCC strain, one mongrel dog) or type II (coyote strain, two beagles and one mongrel) and B. rochalimae (coyote strain, two beagles). None of the dogs inoculated with B. henselae became bacteremic, as detected by classical blood culture. However, several dogs developed severe necrotic lesions at the inoculation site and all six dogs seroconverted within one to two weeks. All dogs inoculated with the B. v. berkhoffii and B. rochalimae strains became bacteremic at levels comparable to previous experimental infections with either a dog isolate or a human isolate. Our data support that dogs are likely accidental hosts for B. henselae, just like humans, and are efficient reservoirs for both B. v. berkhoffii and B. rochalimae.
- Experimental infection
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