RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Bartonella and Coxiella antibodies in 334 prospectively studied episodes of infective endocarditis in Sweden.

Bartonella spp. have been identified as aetiological agents in culture-negative infective endocarditis (IE). Coxiella burnetii may cause chronic Q-fever with endocarditis, 334 blood samples collected from 329 patients (334 episodes) with IE diagnosed between 1984 and 1996 in Göteborg, Sweden, were investigated for antibodies to Bartonella spp. and C. burnetii. 71 of the episodes (21%) were blood culture negative. A microimmunofluorescence assay revealed immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to Bartonella in 13 of the culture verified episodes and in 2 of the culture-negative episodes. Three of the patients had IgG antibodies to > or = 200 in the blood culture-verified group, but none had a titre > or = 800, the cut-off level for Bartonella endocarditis. One patient had elevated antibodies to C. burnetii, diagnosing chronic Q-fever endocarditis. In conclusion, serologically verified Bartonella endocarditis is not prevalent in western Sweden and Q-fever endocarditis is rare.

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