You should be aware that there is a possibility of multiple carriers of the bartonella infection, the full range of symptoms have not been identified, there is a possible link between the infection and acute psychiatric disorders, accurate diagnosis is difficult to make, and Bartonella is commonly treated with antibiotics.
Bartonella is a relatively new discovery in the field of medicine, but this infection should not be taken lightly. The species of bacteria that causes the infection can affect both animals and humans. In fact, nine species of the bartonella bacteria have been determined to affect humans, so it is important to be aware of some information about this infection.
There is a possibility of multiple carriers of the infection
Because bartonella is quite new in the medical community, it is not yet certain how the infection is transmitted. However, many experts point out that fleas, ticks and lice are most likely the carriers of the infection. According to “The Journal of Medical Microbiology” European rats infested with fleas are the main source of infection among humans. On the other hand, the California Lyme Disease Association suggests that cats are the carriers. Considering that both humans and non-humans are affected by this disease, it is possible that the bartonella infection has multiple carriers.
The full range of symptoms have not been identified
The most common symptoms of bartonella are fever, headache, poor appetite, fatigue and the appearance of an unusual rash. The California Lyme Disease Association also reveals that swollen glands in the patient’s head, arms and neck are also common symptoms. Doctors have also observed additional conditions such as lower abdominal pain, gastritis, tender skin nodules, sore soles and sore throats. Apart from these common symptoms, Medscape Today identified additional atypical signs that include distorted or blurred vision, abdominal pain, severe abnormalities in the tissues of the spleen and liver, boils, arthritis, neurological disorders and conditions involving the tissues and valves of the heart.
There is a possible link between the infection and acute psychiatric disorders
Some medical reports mention acute psychiatric disorders like anxiety, depression and panic attacks as among the effects of bartonella infection. James Schaller and Glenn Burkland, both researchers, believe that this link between psychiatric conditions and bartonella infection is possible considering the neurological disorders that have been identified as symptoms and actual reports made by patients.
Accurate diagnosis is difficult to make
Because the range of symptoms of bartonella infection have not been completely determined, accurate diagnosis is somewhat difficult to make. Plus, the two common bartonella strains tested usually yield varying results. Additional drawbacks include background on the disease and uncertainty about the transmission.
Bartonella is commonly treated with antibiotics
Antibiotics like azithromycin, doxycycline, erythromycin and levofloxacin are common treatments of bartonella. As for patients suffering from anxiety or depression caused by the infection, they are administered with anti-depressants and anti-anxiety treatments. Schaller and Burkland have inferred from case studies that patients infected with bartonella need a higher dosage of psychiatric medications. However, it has also been observed that psychiatric symptoms that resulted from bartonella are eliminated when the infection has been successfully treated by antibiotics.
Although there is still uncertainly surrounding bartonella infection, educating yourself and being updated about it can be an effective means of protection.