Experimental infection of specifc pathogen free (SPF) cats with two different strains of Bartonella henselae type I: A comparative study

Kazuhiro Yamamoto, Bruno B Chomel, Rickie W. Kasten, Carrie M. Hew, David K. Weber, Wilson I. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Domestic cats are the reservoir of Bartonella henselae, the main causative agent of cat scratch disease. We compared B. henselae type I infection characteristics in 6 SPF cats infected with a feline strain (4.8 × 107 colony-forming units (CFU)/mL) and in 6 SPF cats infected with the reference Houston I strain (6.6 × 106 CFU/mL to 9.6 × 107/mL). All the cats inoculated with the feline strain, but none of the cats inoculated with B. henselae Houston I, developed a fever within 2-12 days (mean: 5.8 days) post inoculation (PI), which lasted for 1-2 weeks. However, all 12 cats became bacteremic. The duration of bacteremia was significantly longer in the cats inoculated with the feline strain (mean: 237 days) than in the cats inoculated with Houston I strain (mean: 60 days) (p < 0.01). Five (83%) cats inoculated with the feline strain and none of the six cats inoculated with B. henselae Houston I had relapsing bacteremia (p = 0.02). IgG antibodies were detected by IFA within 1-2 weeks for both strains, but peaked later (week 10 versus week 3 PI) for the feline strain. By ELISA, using antigens of each B. henselae strain, all 12 cats developed Bartonella specific IgM and IgG antibodies, but the cats infected with B. henselae Houston I antigen yielded significantly lower optical density values (p < 0.05). By SDS-PAGE, PFGE and Western blotting, protein profile differences (84 to 89% homology) were observed between the two strains. If a feline vaccine is to be developed in order to prevent human infection, the choice of the vaccine strain will be critical, since major differences were identified even between strains belonging to the same sero/genotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-684
Number of pages16
JournalVeterinary Research
Volume33
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2002

Keywords

  • Bacteremia
  • Bartonella henselae
  • Cat
  • ELISA
  • IFA
  • Western bloting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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