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- Small fastidious intracellular pleomorphic Gram-negative bacilli.
- Bartonella has 19 known species, 7 cause human disease: B. henselae, B. bacilliformis, B. quintana, B. vinsonii, B. grahamii, B. elizabethae and B. koehlerae.
- Best seen with Warthin-Starry silver stain or a Brown-Hopps tissue gram stain.
- Major reservoir of B. henselae is cats -- 50% of cats are seropositive and transmit by saliva contact or scratching ("cat scratch fever" or catch scratch disease [CSD]).
- Menu of diseases caused by Bartonella include cat scratch disease, retinitis, trench fever, relapsing bacteremia, endocarditis, bacillary angiomatosis, and bacillary peliosis hepatitis.