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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


ALAMAN VALTIERRA, Manuel et al. Molecular Epidemiology of Bartonella Henselae in Stray and Sheltered Cats of Zaragoza, Spain. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2016, vol.90, e40010.  Epub June 07, 2021. ISSN 2173-9110.


Bartonella henselae is responsible for the Cat Scratch Disease in humans, being it underdiagnosed. This study aims to detect and quantify the load of B. henselae DNA in oral and whole blood samples from stray and shelthered cats from Zaragoza (Spain), and analyze associations with epidemiological and clinical factors.


47 cats entered in the estudy. Real time PCR was used to detect B. henselae DNA in blood and oral samples. The SPSS software was applied to the statistical analysis of positivity of paired samples and its relationship with variables as age, sex, origin, month of sampling and fleas/ticks observation in fur and clinical factors (health status and observation of oral lesions). Logistic Regression was used.


a 23.40% of blood samples and the 27.65% of the oral swabs carried the B. henselae DNA. A fair agreement between paired samples was observed (kappa value = 0.33, p<0.05). Bacterial DNA detected in oral and blood samples were not significantly associated to any of the epidemiological and clinical factors. Positive cats having oral lesions carried higher loads (3,12 / 1x106 cells) of bacterial DNA in their oral cavity than those without lesions (2,58/1x106 cells) being p = 0.032.


Carriage of the B. henselae DNA in the blood samples appears not to be related with carriage of the DNA of the bacteria in mouth and vice versa. Positive cats having oral lesions carry a higher load of B. henselae DNA and may suppose a higher risk of transmission to people handling them.

Keywords : Bartonella henselae; Cat; Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction; Blood; Oral cavity; Molecular epidemiology; Zoonoses; Pets; Logistic regression.

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