Diagnosis of cat scratch disease with Bartonella henselae infection in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues by two different PCR assays

Xiang Qian, Long Jin, Randall T. Hayden, William R. Macon, Ricardo V. Lloyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cat scratch disease (CSD) is commonly caused by Bartonella henselae infection. Clinical history and histologic findings are often insufficient to establish a definitive diagnosis of CSD. We retrospectively studied formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) lymph nodes from 35 patients with histologically suspected CSD by 2 different PCR assays and immunohistochemistry (IHC). The first primer pair amplified a 163-bp fragment of the 16S rRNA gene in 19 of the 35 cases (54%). The second primer pair amplified a 191-bp fragment of the henselae citrate synthase (gltA) gene in 17 of the 35 cases (49%). IHC identified the organisms in 8 of 33 cases (24%). Fresh cultures of various Bartonella species showed a specific PCR product with an analytical sensitivity of 0.5 to 5 pg bacterial DNA. Bartonella species were identified by the unique size of the amplified PCR product. Twenty-two lymph nodes without morphologic evidence or a history of CSD were negative by PCR and immunostaining. Tissues from a patient with Legionella pneumophila were also negative by PCR and immunostaining for CSD supporting the specificity of the PCR reaction. The specific PCR products of the B. henselae were confirmed by sequencing. Human β-actin for each case was amplified to check the integrity of the DNA. Our data indicate that detection of Bartonella DNA by PCR is useful to confirm the diagnosis of CSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-151
Number of pages6
JournalDiagnostic Molecular Pathology
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005

Keywords

  • Bartonella henselae
  • Cat scratch disease
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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