Cat scratch disease (CSD) has an estimated prevalence of approximately 200,000 persons in the USA, and approximately 22,000 new cases occur annually. Cats are the natural carriers of Bartonella henselae, the agent for CSD. Zoonotic transmission of B. henselae can result in CSD in immunocompetent humans and bacillary angiomatosis in immunosuppressed humans. Infection in cats often goes undetected. Development of a vaccine to prevent feline infection is warranted to reduce the prevalence of infection in the feline population and to decrease the potential for zoonotic transmission. One of the immunoreactive proteins identified from our previous study was P26. In this study, we demonstrated that B. henselae recombinant P26 (rP26) was immunogenic in cats. Four cats immunized with rP26 and four control cats were challenged with B. henselae type I and blood samples were collected for culture, PCR, and serology. Immunization with rP26 did not provide protection against B. henselae infection in cats at the doses used in this study. However, p26 PCR proved to be more sensitive for detection of infection in cats compared to gltA PCR. Furthermore, ELISA using rP26 as the substrate was more sensitive than ELISA using B. henselae type I outer membrane proteins.
- Bartonella henselae
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