Laboratory diagnosis of Bartonella infections

THE clinical manifestations of Bartonella infections have been described in a previous article (MO, 18 July). The host response differs in immunocompetent versus immunosuppressed individuals. This has implications for laboratory diagnosis of Bartonella infections.

Serology for detection of antibodies to Bartonella henselae is the most common laboratory test used for confirmation of the diagnosis. As there are many strains of B. henselae that can cause infection, serology using one strain may not detect infection with strains that are