Bartonella species cause several diseases, including cat scratch fever. Vectors for this organism include sandflies, lice, fleas, and ticks. Bartonella species are considered an emerging zoonosis. Confirmation of infection is difficult, partly because Bartonella bacteremia can be found in healthy natural reservoirs. In addition, presumptive diagnoses are often made because laboratory isolation is difficult and prolonged, often requiring at least 21 days. In this study, the authors developed a liquid medium that supported the growth of 7 Bartonella species within 7 days. The medium also supported the co-culture of several different species.

COMMENTARY: Bartonella is a fastidious, gram-negative bacilli that is notoriously difficult to isolate in the laboratory. It causes a wide range of clinical signs in humans, many of which overlap with other diseases. The faster an infectious agent can be isolated, the faster a patient can receive appropriate therapy.

Novel chemically modified liquid medium that will support the growth of seven Bartonella species. Maggi RG, Duncan AW, Breitschwerdt EB. J CLIN MICROBIOL 43:2651-2655, 2005.