Bartonella henselae and Bartonella clarridgeiae infection in domestic cats from The Philippines.

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  • 1 Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.

One hundred seven domestic cats from The Philippines were serologically tested to establish the prevalence of Bartonella infection. A subset of 31 of these cats also had whole blood collected to tentatively isolate Bartonella strains. Bartonella henselae and B. clarridgeiae were isolated from 19 (61%) of these cats. Bartonella henselae type I was isolated from 17 (89%) of the 19 culture-positive cats. Six cats (31%) were infected with B. clarridgeiae, of which four were coinfected with B. henselae. Sixty-eight percent (73 of 107) and 65% (70 of 107) of the cats had antibodies to B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae, respectively, detected by an immunofluorescence antibody (IFA) test at a titer > or = 1:64. When tested by enzyme immunoassay (EIA), 67 cats (62.6%) had antibodies to B. henselae and 71 cats (66.4%) had antibodies to B. clarridgeiae. Compared with the IFA test, the B. henselae EIA had a sensitivity of 90.4% and a specificity of 97%, with positive and negative predictive values of 98.5% and 82.5%, respectively. Similarly, the B. clarridgeiae EIA had a sensitivity of 97% and a specificity of 92% specificity, with positive and negative predictive values of 95.8% and 94.4%, respectively. The presence of antibodies to Bartonella was strongly associated with flea infestation. Domestic cats represent a large reservoir of Bartonella infection in the Philippines.

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