Members of the genus Bartonella are fastidious Gram-negative facultative intracellular bacteria that are typically transmitted by arthropod vectors. Several Bartonella spp. have been found to cause culture-negative endocarditis in humans. Here, we report the case of a 75-year-old German woman with prosthetic valve endocarditis due to Bartonella washoensis. The infecting agent was characterized by sequencing of six housekeeping genes (16S rRNA, ftsZ, gltA, groEL, ribC, and rpoB), applying a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) approach. The 5,097 bp of the concatenated housekeeping gene sequence from the patient were 99.0% identical to a sequence from a B. washoensis strain isolated from a red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris orientis) from China. A total of 39% (24/62) of red squirrel (S. vulgaris) samples from the Netherlands were positive for the B. washoensis gltA gene variant detected in the patient. This suggests that the red squirrel is the reservoir host for human infection in Europe.
- Bartonella washoensis
- Multilocus sequence typing (MLST)
- Red squirrel
- Sciurus vulgaris