n. an infectious disease, largely confined to high river valleys in Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia, caused by the bacterium Bartonella bacilliformis. The parasite, present in red blood cells and cells of the lymphatic system, is transmitted to humans by sandflies. There are two clinical types of the disease: Oroya fever (Carrion’s disease), whose symptoms include fever, anaemia, and enlargement of the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes; and verruga peruana, characterized by wartlike eruptions on the skin that can bleed easily and ulcerate. Oroya fever accounts for nearly all fatalities. Bartonellosis can be treated successfully with penicillin and other antibiotics and blood transfusions may be given to relieve the anaemia.
Other species of Bartonella cause cat-scratch disease and trench fever.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.