Four Bartonella species cause a variety of emerging diseases in humans that can be difficult to diagnose. A PCR-based identification system using amplimers designed from internal portions of the 16S-23S intergenic spacer (ITS) region is described. A genus-specific primer set can distinguish Bartonella species from Escherichia coli or closely-related α-Proteobacteria including Brucella abortus. Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Rhizobium meliloti. Species-specific primer sets for bartonellae that cause human disease (B. bacilliformis, B. elizabethae, B. henselae and B. quintana) produce single, unique amplicons from their respective target and do not react with DNA from other Bartonella species, close bacterial relatives, or E. coli. The described system streamlines current PCR-based identification of pathogenic bartonellae by generating genus- or species-specific amplicons, obviating the need for subsequent RFLP or sequence analysis of the PCR product.
- Rapid method