Tags: New | Possibly | Deadly | Bacteria | Discovered

New, Possibly Deadly Bacteria Discovered

Friday, 08 June 2007 12:00 AM

Scientists have discovered a new and potentially deadly type of bacteria. U.S. researchers found the bacteria in an American woman who had traveled across Peru and suffered symptoms similar to malaria or typhoid, diseases that can occur in travelers.

The new species, named Bartonella rochalimae, is related to the microbe (Bartonella quintana) that attacked thousands of solders during World War I and became known as trench fever. It is also related to a bacterium that causes cat scratch disease.

The woman, who has since recovered, fell ill with a high fever, a rash, potentially fatal anemia, an enlarged spleen, and insomnia two weeks after returning to the United States. Her traveling companion was unaffected.

Since a related bacterium is found in the Peruvian Andes, doctors first thought that was what was making her ill. But genetic research showed the cause was a completely new species.

The new bacterium is the sixth type of Bartonella that can infect humans. Bartonella henselae bacterium causes cat scratch disease and affects 25,000 people in the United States each year. It is characterized by swollen lymph nodes and fever following being scratched by a cat.

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Scientists have discovered a new and potentially deadly type of bacteria. U.S. researchers found the bacteria in an American woman who had traveled across Peru and suffered symptoms similar to malaria or typhoid, diseases that can occur in travelers. The new species,...
New,,Possibly,Deadly,Bacteria,Discovered
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2007-00-08
Friday, 08 June 2007 12:00 AM
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