• Dr. Nicole Vumbaco, DVM

Neurologic Manifestations:

Updated: May 18, 2020

Microglial cells of the Central Nervous System (CNS) are one of many cells that Bartonella has been shown to invade. Migroglial cells are the macrophages of the Central Nervous System. These cells help mediate the CNS immune response by clearing cellular debris, and injured/dead neurons. They are constantly moving to survey the CNS and play a vital role in infection and inflammation. As mentioned previously, Bartonella also invades the vascular endothelial tissue and causes a Small Vessel Inflammatory Disease. Damage can occur to the Central and Peripheral Nervous System, leading to some of the most debilitating symptoms of this disease.


Neurologic Manifestations that have been described include transient aphasia, MS-like disease, meningitis, ice-pick headaches/migraines, tinnitus, photophobia, insomnia, visual disturbances, blurred vision, depression, psychiatric illness, peripheral migratory neuropathy (disease of one or more nerves typically causing numbness and weakness), low pulse pressure, loss of coordination, paresis (weakness), pain syndromes, focal transient muscle fascinations (twitching) and isolated tremors...to name a few! Below are some great articles discussing this aspect Bartonellosis.

  1. Bartonella sp. Bacteremia in Patients with Neurological and Neurocognitive Dysfunction. Journal of Clinical Microbiology

  2. Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy as a complication of cat scratch disease, 2000 (scroll to bottom of 1st page)

  3. Neurological and immunological dysfunction in two patients with Bartonella henselae bacteremia. Clinical case reports, 2017

  4. Vasculitis, cerebral infarction and persistent Bartonella henselae infection in a child. Parasites & vectors, 2016:

  5. Spontaneous onset of complex regional pain syndrome Type I in a woman infected with Bartonella koehlerae. Medical microbiology and immunology, 2013: (You have to scroll down a bit for the article)

  6. Bartonella henselae infection in a family experiencing neurological and neurocognitive abnormalities after woodlouse hunter spider bites. Parasites & vectors, 2013

  7. Neurological Manifestations of Bartonellosis in Immunocompetent Patients: A Composite of Reports from 2005–2012. Journal of Neuroparasitology, 2012


How it relates to my case presentation (2019 to current)


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