Bartonella spp. are fastidious gram-negative neglected bacilli with worldwide distribution. They are able to cause intraerythrocytic and potentially fatal infection. Cats and dogs are reservoirs of some species of these agents. Blood-sucking arthropods are potential vectors. Our aim was to evaluate the blood, skin, liver, and spleen in BALB/c mice by using molecular tests and confocal microscopy to demonstrate Bartonella henselae infection in the bloodstream and organs after 4 and 21 days of intraperitoneally injected bacterial suspension. We demonstrate that the occurrence of infection in organs precedes the detectable infection in blood. Therefore, late manifestation in blood may be another challenge in early detection and diagnosis of B. henselae infection.
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Acknowledgments We thank the staff of the Life Sciences Core Facility (LaCTAD) from University of Campinas (UNICAMP) for their assistance with the confocal microscopy analysis. We also thank the Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) for their financial support (2012/22340-5) to M.N.S. and CAPES support (PVE 2042/2012) to PENFV and NIH (UO1 HL 117664) to K.G.