Bartonella spp

From Ferret
Bartonella spp bacterium under light microscopy

Bartonella spp are a flagellated intracellular rod-shaped Gram-negative protebacteria that has been reported in wild mustelids.

Species which are pathogenic in mustelids include:

  • Bartonella henselae
  • Bartonella clarridgeiae
  • Bartonella vinsonii var berkhoffii[1]

Most reports of infection occur in badgers, stoat[2] and otters[3], where they cause asymptomatic infections.

Diagnosis of Bartonella spp infection is based on isolation of the intraerythrocytic parasite within a blood smear.

Antimicrobial efficacy has not been clearly demonstrated. Clinical signs of disease may resolve with doxycycline at 2 - 5 mg/kg given orally every 12 hours for 4 weeks.


  1. Quinn JH et al (2012) Pathogen and rodenticide exposure in American badgers (Taxidea taxus) in California. J Wildl Dis 48(2):467-472
  2. McDonald RA et al(2011) Histological evidence of disease in wild stoats (Mustela erminea) in England. Vet Rec 149(22):671-675
  3. Chinnadurai SK et al (2010) Prevalence of selected vector-borne organisms and identification of Bartonella species DNA in North American river otters (Lontra canadensis). J Wildl Dis 46(3):947-950