Seroprevalence to Bartonella quintana among patients
at a community clinic in downtown Seattle.
Department of Epidemiology (School of Public Health and Community
Medicine), Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
In 1993, an outbreak of 10 cases of Bartonella quintana bacteremia
occurred among homeless, alcoholic, human immunodeficiency virus
(HIV)-negative persons in Seattle. To estimate the prevalence of past
exposure B. quintana among this population, a serosurvey was conducted
in 1994 among patients at a downtown Seattle clinic.
Microimmunofluorescent titers to B. quintana in 192 clinic patients were
compared with titers in 199 age- and sex-matched Seattle volunteer blood
donors. Titers > or = 64 were detected in 20% (39/192) of clinic
patients compared with 2% (4/199) of blood donors (P<.001). Among clinic
patients, alcohol abuse was independently associated in multivariate
analysis with titers > or = 64 (odds ratio, 3.3; 95% confidence
interval, 1.6-6.9). Of the 39 patients with B. quintana titers > or =
64, 24 (62%) also had titers > or = 64 to Bartonella henselae,
indicating serologic cross-reactivity between Bartonella species. These
results suggest that a substantial proportion of this indigent,
inner-city Seattle population was infected with B. quintana.
PMID: 8603944 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]