Bartonellosis is the generic name given to a wide range of infections caused by members of the genus Bartonella, a group of fastidious, facultatively intracellular,
tal transmission of B. henselae has been achieved by the transfer of cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) (Figure 11.1) from bacteraemic cats to specific pathogen-free (SPF) cats. Bartonellae have also been observed in the midgut of infected fleas and they can be cultured from infected flea faeces for up to 9 days post feeding. Furthermore, intradermal inoculation of SPF cats with flea faeces has been shown to induce bacteraemia. Thus, it appears that the transmission of B. henselae between cats involves the uptake of infected blood by fleas, followed by multiplication of bacteria in the flea midgut, then excretion and persistence in flea faeces and finally infection of a new host by the cutaneous inoculation of infected faeces via a scratch or abrasion.