What is the role of cultures in the diagnosis of bartonellosis (Bartonella infection)?

Updated: Jun 19, 2019
  • Author: Kassem A Hammoud, MD; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Culture for Bartonella bacteria is not recommended for routine cases of patients with catscratch disease lymphadenopathy.

Cultures may be useful in patients who have other manifestations of either B henselae or B quintana infection, including fever of unknown origin, neuroretinitis, encephalitis, culture-negative endocarditis, and peliosis or bacillary angiomatosis. Fresh media is required to increase the chance of isolation.

A recent study suggests a novel chemically modified liquid medium that supports the growth of 7 Bartonella species. [36]

A 2016 study showed that a serum-free media using glucose, sucrose, and hemin as supplements was equivalent to the commercially available media but was easier to prepare. [37]

The lysis-centrifugation system (Isolator) is recommended for blood cultures.

Minced tissues may be cultured on chocolate agar plates in a humid atmosphere with carbon dioxide to facilitate growth.

Antibiotic susceptibility is not routinely tested in patients with bartonellosis because susceptibility studies may fail to predict response to therapy.

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