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Bartonella and Uveitis in Cats

Fontenelle, J. P., C. C. Powell, et al. (2008). “Prevalence of serum antibodies against Bartonella species in the serum of cats with or without uveitis.” J Feline Med Surg 10(1): 41-6.

Anterior uveitis in cats has various causes, such as trauma, immune-mediated disease, and infectious agents. Bartonella henselae has been associated with chronic uveitis in people, and has been suggested as a cause for uveitis in some cats, although the number of proven cases is actually small. Cats are the main reservoir for B. henselae, although transmission of the infection is via fleas, ticks and other biting insects. Bartonella is the most common cause of cat scratch disease in humans. The objective of this study was to compare Bartonella seroprevalence and titers in cats with uveitis, cats with non-ocular disease, and healthy cats. The data was controlled for age and risk of flea exposure based on state of origin. Results showed no difference in seroprevalence rates or magnitude of titer between cats with uveitis and cats with non-ocular diseases. Healthy cats were more likely to be seropositive than cats with uveitis. The data from this study suggests that serum antibody tests alone cannot be used to diagnose Bartonella-associated uveitis in the cat.
>> PubMed abstract

Related articles:
Lappin, M., D. Kordick, et al. (2000). “Bartonella spp antibodies and DNA in aqueous humour of cats.” J Fel Med Surg 2(1): 61-68.
>> PubMed abstract

Centers for Disease Control – Healthy Pets, Healthy People:
Cat scratch disease