Bartonella henselae is commonly associated with Cat Scratch Disease (CSD) and Bacillary Angiomatosis (BA) in immunocompromised patients. Recently Eskow et al 2001.Arch.Neurol.58:1345-7., presented evidence that B. henselae is also a potential human tick-borne pathogen and that it can be a co-infecting agent with Lyme Disease in the central nervous system. They found elevated levels of B. henselae-specific antibodies in these patients using the immunofluorescent assay. B. henselae-specific DNA was detected in blood by PCR.

We have developed two tests for detection of B. henselae. B. henselae Indirect Immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and B. henselae PCR test. The B. henselae IFA test detects antibodies (IgG and IgM) from serum.
The B. henselae PCR assay detects B. henselae specific 16S rDNA in whole blood, or ticks. The assay is highly sensitive and specific. There is no cross-reaction to Bartonella quintana, Ehrlichia species, Borrelia burgdorferi, Rickettsia, or blood parasites such as Babesia, Leshmania, Trypanosoma, Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, West Nile Virus and human DNA.

Detection of IgG and IgM Antibodies to Bartonella henselae by Indirect Immunofluorescence Assays (IFA)

AThe Bartonella henselae Indirect Immunofluorescence assays (IFA) are “two stage” sandwich assays, based on antigen-antibody complex formation. The assay detects B. henselae antibodies. The antibody titers are usually high (1:640 or higher) in acute infection. Sero-conversion usually occurs between two and four weeks after infection.

Diagnosis is based upon the indirect detection of Bartonella henselae specific IgG or IgM antibodies in serum. B. henselae IFA assays use fixed B. henselae bacteria (on a glass slide) as substrate. The Bartonella specific antibodies bind to the fixed B. henselae bacteria and are detected by fluorescence.

Test #                      285

Description             Antibody IgG & IgM for Bartonella henselae

Specimen               0.5 ml Serum 

Collection & Shipping
Collect in Red Tope tube, separate and send at room temperature
OR Collect in SST tube, spin and send at room temperature.

CPT CODE:             86611 X 2

Bartonella henselae DNA detection by PCR

The PCR-based diagnostic assay that detects B. henselae is highly specific and sensitive. The four steps are:

1. Hybridization/Selection Step – This step specifically (a) removes the “common PCR inhibitors” from the clinical sample and (b) selects and purifies the DNA fragment of interest.

2. PCR Amplification – The purified Bartonella DNA fragment is PCR amplified with B. henselae specific primers. A primer is a synthetically produced nucleic acid sequence that by design and selection contains B. henselae specific nucleotide sequences. The primer sequence “hybridizes” or binds specifically to B. henselae, therefore, only B. henselae specific DNA is amplified.

3. Confirmation – The PCR product is confirmed as B. henselae positive by Dot Blot Assay, using B. henselae specific probes.

Test #                      280

Description            Bartonella henselae PCR – Whole Blood

Specimen               5 ml Whole Blood (EDTA)

Collection & Shipping
1 Lavender top tube-(EDTA). Ship immediately at RT.

CPT CODE:             87471

Test #                      283*

Description            Bartonella henselae PCR - Serum

Specimen              2 ml Serum

Collection & Shipping
Collect in Red Tope tube, separate and send at room temperature
OR Collect in SST tube, spin and send at room temperature.

CPT CODE:           87471

*Not available for NY Residents