Query: NC_005956:1648000 Bartonella henselae str. Houston-1, complete genome Lineage: Bartonella henselae; Bartonella; Bartonellaceae; Rhizobiales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: Bartonella henselae str. Houston-1 (ATCC 49882) was isolated from human blood in Houston Texas. Causative agent of cat scratch fever. This group of alpha proteobacteria are unique among pathogens in that they cause angiogenic lesions. This organism was identified as the causative agent of cat scratch fever, a disease found commonly in children or in immunocompromised adults. The proliferation of the vascular endothelium (bacillary angiomatosis) is characterisitic of Bartonella infection and results in multiplication of the bacterium's host cells. Infected macrophages are stimulated to release vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and interleukin 1 beta, both of which promote angiogenesis. Endothelial cells are also stimulated to grow and divide by direct contact with bacterial cells. In addition, programmed cell death (apoptosis) of endothelial cells is inhibited, combatting a common mechanism eukaryotic cells use to deal with bacterial infection. Other pathogenicity factors include pili and outer membrane adhesins for attachment to host cells.
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General Information: This strain is a standard laboratory strain. It is virulent for humans and cattle. Causes bovine brucellosis. They are highly infectious, and can be spread through contact with infected animal products or through the air, making them a potential bioterrorism agent. Once the organism has entered the body, it can become intracellular, and enter the blood and lymphatic regions, multiplying inside phagocytes before eventually causing bacteremia (spread of bacteria through the blood). Virulence may depend on a type IV secretion system which may promote intracellular growth by secreting important effector molecules. This organism was first noticed on the island of Malta. It is the primary cause of bovine brucellosis, which results in enormous (billions of dollars) economic losses due primarily to reproductive failure and food losses. In man, it causes undulant fever, a long debilitating disease that is treated by protracted administration of antibiotics.