Open Access Short Report

BALB/c Mice resist infection with Bartonella bacilliformis

Beronica Infante1, Sandra Villar1, Sandra Palma1, Jenny Merello1, Roberto Valencia3, Luis Torres3, Jamie Cok4, Palmira Ventosilla1, Ciro Manguiña12, Humberto Guerra1 and Cesar Henriquez1*

Author Affiliations

1 Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt – Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Perú

2 Departamento de Enfermedades Transmisibles y Dermatológicas, Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Perú

3 Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia – Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Perú

4 Departamento de Anatomia Patológica, Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Perú

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BMC Research Notes 2008, 1:103  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-1-103

Published: 28 October 2008



Bartonellosis due to Bartonella bacilliformis is a highly lethal endemic and sometimes epidemic infectious disease in South America, and a serious public health concern in Perú. There is limited information on the immunologic response to B. bacilliformis infection. The objective of this research was to produce experimental infection of BALB/c mice to B. bacilliformis inoculation.


BALB/c mice were inoculated with 1.5, 3.0 or 4.5 × 108 live B. bacilliformis using different routes: intraperitoneal, intradermal, intranasal, and subcutaneous. Cultures of spleen, liver, and lymph nodes from one to 145 days yielded no cultivable organisms. No organs showed lesions at any time. Previously inoculated mice showed no changes in the reinoculation site.


Parenteral inoculation of live B. bacilliformis via different infection routes produced no macroscopic or microscopic organ lesions in BALB/c mice. It was not possible to isolate B. bacilliformis using Columbia blood agar from 1 to 15 days after inoculation.