Multi-locus sequence typing of Bartonella henselae isolates from three continents reveals hypervirulent and feline-associated clones

Mardjan Arvand, Edward J. Feil, Michael Giladi, Henri Jean Boulouis, Juliane Viezens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Bartonella henselae is a zoonotic pathogen and the causative agent of cat scratch disease and a variety of other disease manifestations in humans. Previous investigations have suggested that a limited subset of B. henselae isolates may be associated with human disease. In the present study, 182 human and feline B. henselaeisolates from Europe, North America and Australia were analysed by multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) to detect any associations between sequence type (ST), host species and geographical distribution of the isolates. A total of 14 sequence types were detected, but over 66% (16/24) of the isolates recovered from human disease corresponded to a single genotype, ST1, and this type was detected in all three continents. In contrast, 27.2% (43/ 158) of the feline isolates corresponded to ST7, but this ST was not recovered from humans and was restricted to Europe. The difference in host association of STs 1 (human) and 7 (feline) was statistically significant (P≤0.001). eBURST analysis assigned the 14 STs to three clonal lineages, which contained two or more STs, and a singleton comprising ST7. These groups were broadly consistent with a neighbour-joining tree, although splits decomposition analysis was indicative of a history of recombination. These data indicate that B. henselaelineages differ in their virulence properties for humans and contribute to a better understanding of the population structure of B. henselae.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1346
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Cite this