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The Bartonella IgG DNA/PCR test is designed to detect bartonella henselae/quintana, a pathogenic bacteria, usually transmitted by a cat scratch. Patients with a history of Lyme disease who have incomplete resolution of symptoms should be evaluated for Bartonella infections. Bartonella is an intracellular, gram-negative bacterium that can become chronic.

Bartonellosis is a common name for cat scratch disease which is a flea-borne disease that carries the Bartonella bacteria. MDL was the first laboratory to detect the presence of Bartonella henselae in the Ixodes scapularis ticks.

The disease is generally mild, the symptoms of bartonellosis typically include swollen lymph nodes and fever. Swelling in the lymph nodes (armpit, neck bone and above the collarbone) may persist for months. Headaches, joint pain, and eye redness may occur.

Bartonella may not present in its usual form when additional infections, such as Lyme disease or Babesia are present. In addition, typical Bartonella lesions are not always seen in patients, therefore, a diagnosis of "fever of unknown origin" should alert a physician to consider Bartonella. It is estimated that approximately 2/3 of the patients with Bartonella have a fever. Involvement of practically every organ has been reported.

There are a variety of symptoms associated with Bartonella, including, but not limited to, fatigue, restlessness, combative behavior, myalgias, malaise, liver and/or spleen involvement, abdominal pain, infectious mononucleosis-like syndrome, granulomatous hepatitis.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests:

PCR is the only practical means of directly detecting the presence of the infectious Borrelia bacteria, while other tests, such ELISA and Western blot tests, merely test for antibodies to the Borrelia organism. As such, a positive result to ELISA and Western blot tests may indicate either current or previous infection and is not necessarily proof of active infection causing Lyme disease.

PCR tests rely on detecting the genetic material (DNA) of the suspected infectious spirochaete or bacteria.

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