Prosthetic valve endocarditis with Bartonella washoensis in a human European patient and its detection in red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris)

Friederike D. von Loewenich, Christof Seckert, Elke Dauber, Marja J.L. Kik, Ankje de Vries, Hein Sprong, Katja Buschmann, Matthew L. Aardema, Moritz Brandstetter

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Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01404-19
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Bartonella washoensis
  • Endocarditis
  • Europe
  • Human
  • Multilocus sequence typing (MLST)
  • Red squirrel
  • Reservoir
  • Sciurus vulgaris

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    von Loewenich, F. D., Seckert, C., Dauber, E., Kik, M. J. L., de Vries, A., Sprong, H., Buschmann, K., Aardema, M. L., & Brandstetter, M. (2020). Prosthetic valve endocarditis with Bartonella washoensis in a human European patient and its detection in red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris). Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 58(1), [e01404-19]. https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.01404-19