// November 30th, 2010 // Ashley's Blog, Links To Other Lyme Site Posts, Re-Posts,

Bartonella is a bacterium that causes illness, the most commonly known of which is a disease called “Cat Scratch Fever.” Thousands of known cases of Bartonella occur in the U.S. each Year, with the vast majority of known cases due to bites from fleas that infest cats or infected dogs (may also occur directly from bites and scratches from infected dogs or cats). Bartonella can also be transmitted by ticks that transmit Lyme Disease. In fact, in a study published recently, deer ticks from New Jersey had a higher prevalence of Bartonella organisms than of Lyme organisms. (1)

It is unclear whether the organism that we see transmitted along with Lyme disease is actually a Bartonella species (such as B. henselae or B. quintana) or is “Bartonella-Like Organism” (BLO) that is yet to be fully identified. While BLO has features similar to organisms in the Bartonella family, it also has features slimiar to the Mycoplasma and the Francisella (causes tularemia) families. (1)

It has been said that Bartonella is the most common of all tick-borne pathogens. Indeed, there seems to be a fairly distinct clinical syndrome when this type of organism is present in the chronic Lyme patient. However, several aspect of this infection seem to indicate that this tick-associated strain of Bartonella is different from that described as “cat scratch disease”. For example, in patients who fit the clinical picture, standard Bartonella blood testing in commonly non-reactive. Furthermore, the usual Bartonella medications do not work for this- they suppress the symptoms but do not permanently clear them. For these reasons I (Dr Burrascano) like to refer to this as a “Bartonella-like organism” (BLO), rather than assume it is a more common species. (2)

Incidentally, animal studies show that Bartonella may be transmitted across the placenta. No human studies have been done. (2)

Bartonellosis is often mild but in serious cases it can affect the whole body. Early signs are fever, fatigue, headache, poor appetite, and an unusual, streaked rash. Swollen glands are typical, especially around the head, neck and arms. Burrascano suspects bartonellosis when neurologic symptoms are out of proportion to the other systemic symptoms of chronic Lyme. He also notes gastritis, lower abdominal pain, sore soles, and tender subcutaneous nodules along the extremities. Lymph nodes may be enlarged and the throat can be sore. (3)

Bartonella are bacteria that live inside cells; they can infect humans, mammals, and a wide range of wild animals. Not all Bartonella species cause disease in humans. Bartonella henselae causes an important emerging infection first reported in 1990 and described as a new species in 1992. It is mainly carried by cats and causes cat-scratch disease, endocarditis, and several other serious diseases in humans. (3)

Bartonella bacteria are known to be carried by fleas, body lice and ticks. Scientists suspect that ticks are a source of infection in some human cases of bartonellosis. People with tick bites and no known exposure to cats have acquired the disease. People who recall being bitten by ticks have been co-infected with Lyme and Bartonella. More research needs to be done to establish the role of ticks in spreading the disease. (3)

Babesia and Bartonella are not little addendums to Lyme disease, but are often far more serious than Lyme disease. Any physician who is not well-versed in these two killing infections perhaps should not be considered competent enough to treat patients with flea and tick infections. These infections do not circle around planet “Lyme” like small moons, instead, they are their own huge planets that cause massive consequences to the human body. (4)

In my experience (Dr. Schaller), Bartonella is profoundly agitating and causes all possible psychiatric troubles. Some patients feel like they have gasoline in their veins and are highly reactive and grossly sensitive. I also believe Babesia and Lyme disease, to a lesser extent, can also cause very diverse psychiatric troubles. (5)

It is important to realize that Bartonella is not rare. It is all over the world and only those living in the polar ice caps are immune to the risk of infection. I (Dr. Schaller) personally believe based on newer and more aggressive testing that it is more common than Lyme disease. Many are falsely diagnosed with Babesia because they are tired and fatigued, and yet this is a highly common symptom of Bartonella reported in vast numbers of studies. It is a major contributing infection to chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia symptom clusters. (6)

You should appreciate that it is unlikely you will ever be cured of Lyme in the presence of Bartonella. Why? Bartonella is a massive immune suppressing bacteria. It can float attached to Red Blood Cells in vast numbers and not even cause a cold or fever. Just imagine, bacteria are floating in your blood and you might not have any fever at all! If you had Staph or Strep in your blood at these levels you would likely be dead in 48 hours unless you were pumped full of antibiotics in an ICU. So how is it this huge elephant floats in vast numbers and causes no severe fever and no disastrous signs of deadly sepsis—infected blood throughout the body with massive inflammation. It is because it has ways of shutting down the immune system. It violates many rules of bacteria behavior and this is one reason it has been so seriously missed until recent years. (6)

Treatments include-
ceftin, ciprofloxacin, mycobutin, levaqin, septra, doxycycline, omnicet, cumanda, clove bud oil, houttuynia, banderol

ice pick like headaches
reflex sympathetic dystorphy
cardiac problems
gut problems
plantar fascial pain
burning pain
night sweats
weight loss
neurological symptoms
foot pain, sore soles
enlarged lymph nodes
rash that looks like red or purple stretch marks PHOTOS
cold hands and feet
intestinal infection
blood thinkening
sore throat
lower abdominal pain

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3 Responses to “Bartonella”

  1. [...] to have a backslide with symptoms.  At my next appt it was decided I was having a flare up of Bartonella, one of the co-infections transmitted through a tick bite along with the Lyme [...]

  2. Jeff Roy says:

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………….Hello believe I have Bartonella from RI my name is jeff,been suffering for quite a while {phone number deleted, please use email address). Looking for to find and talk to some knowledgable of this disease and possible hel.Thank you Jeff

  3. Jeff. I’m sorry it has taken so long to reply. I just wrote a long response and lost it. I’m going to give you an email address, if you want more info. I have someone who has done a lot of research as well as a lot of Lyme work over the years, seems we both got sick aroundthe same time….but I too have Bartonella, I had Lyme by time I was 5, at 30 I went to Provincetown for first time (twice that fall) then every June 8-12 of us would go. Never ONCE noticed the sign that said “Watch Out: Our Biggest Dangers Are Ticks and Skunks”. I even went skinny dipping for first time in ocean at midnight with a friend, and we ran from the sliding doors of our hotel all the way to the water in the pitch black, taking our clothes off (again in the dark LOL) in the brush…hit the water (It was October) and quickly got out and then had to search for our clothes in the dark in the bushes. I won’t even walk on grass now, If Ihad known then! But I had been 2 months earlier for my first time and I started to get sick right after that.) From 2003-2008 I went from specialist to specialist. Fired specialists and my primary Dr (neither would see me saying it was the other’s problem, so I got new ones…but same thing, pain I’d have forever, don’t really know, nothing wrong etc. I had heart monitor on, had my feet checked for the pain and burning, afraid of diabetes since so many of my symptoms personally are similr to diabetes. But no case is the same. My Lyme responded to antibiotics. 26 months, 22 with an IV. But the antibiotics didn’t help for co-infections, in fact one for Babesia almost killed me I had such a reaction, that’s a malaria like disease. (I apologize, I never know how much people know.) But if you email if you need more info or help or to be pointed somehwere let me know. I’m sure you know, but the “opposition” (I’ll stay neutral here….) is the IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America) which has been proven several times they’ve released guidelines to help with future profits. So two, I am not a medial person or professional, so this is just my story. Never do anything that I do or that works for me, like the co-infections, I respond to the Chinese herbs and stuff, they work while antibiotics don’t. And nobody else responds like I do. The two best sites I refer people to are and (I think, they just changed, it’s tick borne disease alliance, Turn the Corner is now part of this alliance.) And ILADS is the opposite of the IDSA….they are International Lyme and Associated Disease Socity. A lot of Europe has Lyme worse than as or as bad, and other strains so different symptoms and treatments. A WorldWide Lyme protest happened 2 weeks ago with 30 countries participating, there were more countries than US states that took part! So this is an international organization working together, and most Lyme Literate and experienced Dr’s are part of them, or involved with them, but to get the most accurate info as well where to get more info, those are best sites. And I’ve focused more on awarenesa and now patient advocacy, I’m not good at science and research. But like I said a friend sick before me, but kind of along the same time frame, who is also an author and blogs a lot, she just is doing a 31 days of health advocacy blogging. I believe there’s even a post on there about Bartonella. So send an email and someone will get back to you with the info. I’m also editing your comment to take out your phone number, too many people scan and get the numbers and suddenly it’s posted everywhere. I just found mycell phone number and name on reverse look up, but it’s not illegal if nobody is calling or soliciting…but bad enough how much info you can get online. But I’ll take the phone number out, and your email is there for anyone to reply. Thanks! Eric

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