Author(s): Mehock JR, Greene CE, Gherardini FC, Hahn TW, Krause DC
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Abstract Bartonella henselae, the causative agent of cat scratch disease, establishes long-term bacteremia in cats, in which it attaches to and invades feline erythrocytes (RBC). Feline RBC invasion was assessed in vitro, based on gentamicin selection for intracellular bacteria or by laser confocal microscopy and digital sectioning. Invasion rates ranged from 2 to 20\% of the inoculum, corresponding to infection of less than 1\% of the RBC. Invasion was a slow process, requiring >8 h before significant numbers of intracellular bacteria were detected. Pretreatment of the bacteria with trypsin, or of the RBC with trypsin or neuraminidase, had no effect, but pronase pretreatment of RBC resulted in a slight increase in invasion frequency. The ability to model B. henselae invasion of feline RBC in vitro should permit identification of bacterial surface components involved in this process and elucidate the significance of RBC invasion to transmission and infection in cats.
This article was published in Infect Immun
and referenced in Journal of Tropical Diseases & Public Health