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Open Access Review

Strategies of exploitation of mammalian reservoirs by Bartonella species

Hongkuan Deng1, Danielle Le Rhun1, Jean-Philippe R Buffet1, Violaine Cotté1, Amanda Read23, Richard J Birtles2 and Muriel Vayssier-Taussat1*

Author Affiliations

1 USC INRA Bartonella et Tiques, ANSES, 23 Avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94700, Maisons-Alfort, France

2 School of Environment and Biological Sciences, University of Salford, Salford, Greater Manchester, M5 4WT, United Kingdom

3 University of Texas San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA

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Veterinary Research 2012, 43:15  doi:10.1186/1297-9716-43-15

Published: 27 February 2012

Abstract

Numerous mammal species, including domestic and wild animals such as ruminants, dogs, cats and rodents, as well as humans, serve as reservoir hosts for various Bartonella species. Some of those species that exploit non-human mammals as reservoir hosts have zoonotic potential. Our understanding of interactions between bartonellae and reservoir hosts has been greatly improved by the development of animal models for infection and the use of molecular tools allowing large scale mutagenesis of Bartonella species. By reviewing and combining the results of these and other approaches we can obtain a comprehensive insight into the molecular interactions that underlie the exploitation of reservoir hosts by Bartonella species, particularly the well-studied interactions with vascular endothelial cells and erythrocytes.