Bartonella bacilliformis has caused debilitating illness since pre-Incan times, but relatively little is known about its epidemiology. A population-based, prospective cohort investigation was conducted in a Peruvian community with endemic bartonellosis. By use of house-to-house and hospital surveillance methods, cohort participants were monitored for evidence of bartonellosis. Of 690 participants, 0.5% had asymptomatic bacteremia at study initiation. After 2 years of follow-up, the incidence of infection was 12.7/100 person-years. The highest rates were in children <5 years old, and there was a linear decrease in incidence with increasing age. Seventy percent of cases were clustered in 18% of households. Age and bartonellosis in a family member were the best predictors of B. bacilliformis infection. There were multiple clinical presentations and significant subclinical infection. A cost-effective control strategy should include vector control and surveillance efforts focused on children and clusters of households with highest endemicity. © Oxford University Press 2001.
Chamberlin, J., Laughlin, L. W., Romero, S., Soloórzano, N., Gordon, S., Andre, R. G., Pachas, P., Friedman, H., Ponce, C., & Watts, D. (2002). Epidemiology of endemic Bartonella bacilliformis: A prospective cohort study in a Peruvian mountain valley community. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 983-990. https://doi.org/10.1086/344054