Bartonella henselae, the agent of cat-scratch disease in immunocompetent individuals, is a fastidious facultative intracellular, gram-negative pathogen. It is also the causal agent of bacillary angiomatosis and bacillary peliosis, which are histologically characterized as lobulated proliferation of endothelial cells in immunocompromised patients (e.g. AIDS).
Endothelial cells are one presumed habit at of Bartonella spp.The ability to induce vasculoproliferative disorders in humans is a unique feature of Bartonella spp., however the underlying molecular mechanisms need to be further elucidated. Parts of our current projects are described below; our research is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinsc