This work was performed at the Intracellular Pathogens Research Laboratory in North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Raleigh, NC. Abstract presented at the 2006 Joint Meeting: 20th National Meeting of the American Society for Rickettsiology and the 5th International Conference on Bartonella as Emerging Pathogens.
Bartonella DNA in the Blood and Lymph Nodes of Golden Retrievers with Lymphoma and in Healthy Controls
Article first published online: 14 FEB 2008
Copyright © 2008 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume 22, Issue 1, pages 89–95, January–February 2008
How to Cite
Duncan, A.W., Marr, H.S., Birkenheuer, A.J., Maggi, R.G., Williams, L.E., Correa, M.T. and Breitschwerdt, E.B. (2008), Bartonella DNA in the Blood and Lymph Nodes of Golden Retrievers with Lymphoma and in Healthy Controls. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 22: 89–95. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2007.0018.x
The research was funded in part by the American Kennel Club-Canine Health Foundation, Bayer Animal Health, the Golden Retriever Foundation, IDEXX Laboratories, and the State of North Carolina.
- Issue published online: 14 FEB 2008
- Article first published online: 14 FEB 2008
- Submitted May 8, 2007; Revised July 31, 2007; Accepted August 29, 2007.
Background: Although lymphoma is the most common neoplastic process reported in dogs, its precise etiology is unknown. Golden Retrievers are more likely to develop lymphoma, suggesting a breed predisposition; however, other factors, including environment, immunity, and infection, are likely contributors to oncogenesis.
Hypothesis: We hypothesized that the development of lymphoma in Golden Retrievers may be associated with vector-borne infections, specifically Bartonella, Anaplasma, or Ehrlichia species infections.
Animals: Golden Retrievers with lymphoma and healthy Golden Retrievers from across the United States were recruited for study participation.
Methods: A matched, case-control study was performed to determine the association of lymphoma and the presence of Bartonella, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia species in serum, blood, and lymph node aspirates.
Results: Using PCR analyses and DNA sequencing, single and coinfections with Bartonella henselae, Bartonella elizabethae, Bartonella quintana, and/or Bartonella vinsonii (berkhoffii) were detected in the blood and lymph node aspirates of Golden Retrievers with lymphoma (5/28 dogs, 18%) and in healthy Golden Retrievers (10/56 dogs, 18%); no Anaplasma or Ehrlichia DNA was detected in any dog. When compared with dogs with lymphoma, a higher (P <.001) proportion of healthy Golden Retrievers were receiving monthly acaricide treatments (2.6 times higher).
Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Bartonella DNA can be detected in blood and lymph nodes; importantly, in this report, Bartonella was detected in the same proportion of clinically healthy dogs and dogs with lymphoma. Longitudinal studies should be conducted to determine the mode of transmission of Bartonella in dogs, whether lymphatic infection is persistent, or whether these bacteria may contribute to the development of lymphoma.