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During the last 20 years bartonella bacteria have been linked to a wide range of animal diseases, bartonella species are recognized as emergent pathogens (Anderson and Neuman, 1997; Breitschwerdt and Kordick, 2000; Boulouis et al., 2005) creating an increased interest, research has revealed-

  1. Bartonella as a species has a unique parasitic strategy (Dehio, 2001; Birtles, 2005; Kaiser et al., 2010)

  2. Bartonella are extremely prevalent and diverse in many mammals, (Birtles et al., 1994; Kosoy et al., 1997; Ying et al., 2002; Castle et al., 2004; Jardine et al., 2005; Bai et al., 2011a & b).

  3. Using the new technology (Illumina 16S rRNA technology) 30–40 species of Bartonella are reported.

Transmission of bartonella is thought to be from tick bites but more recently research has raised the possibility that Bartonella is also transmitted through exposure to feces between mammals and on into humans.  (Veikkol)

The Equibiome test using the same technology identified 3 species of bartonella bacteria in the gut of horses, these being the same species of bartonella as identified in UK mammals, suggesting a strong contamination link through exposure to faeces and/or the environment.

 Bartonella species found in horses-

Bartonella coopersplainsensis identified in rats (also found in the Carneddau wild horses).

Bartonella bovis formerly Bartonella weissi identified in cattle, rats, shrews, squirrels and mice causes bovine endocarditis, (found in 80% of horses).

Bartonella rochalimae identified in foxes, also found in 60% domesticated horses and 5% of the wild Carneddau).

Besides infecting erythrocytes, the bartonella bacteria target endothelial cells (which form the protective barrier of the gut) using a unique mechanism for cellular invasion.

Horses with bartonella in the gut are commonly asymptomatic, suggesting a mechanism for control might exist?  

Veikkolainen V, Vesterinen EJ, Lilley TM, Pulliainen AT. Bats as Reservoir Hosts of Human Bacterial Pathogen, Bartonella mayotimonensis. Emerg Infect Dis. 2014;20: 960–967. pmid:24856523

Gundi, V. A., Taylor, C., Raoult, D., & La Scola, B. (2009). Bartonella rattaustraliani sp. nov., Bartonella queenslandensis sp. nov. and Bartonella coopersplainsensis sp. nov., identified in Australian rats. International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 59(12), 2956-




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