New Course Alert: “Antibiotic Treatment of Bartonella Infections” by Dr. Monica Embers

Invisible is excited to announce a new course: “Antibiotic Treatment of Bartonella Infections.” This course is designed for medical professionals seeking to deepen their understanding of Bartonella treatment. It centers around the groundbreaking work conducted by Dr. Monica Embers, Director of Vector-Borne Disease Research at Tulane University. Here is a preview what she covers in the course:

Q1: What is the current standard of care for the treatment of Bartonella infections?

Dr. Embers: The treatment varies based on the specific Bartonella infection. For example, a combination of gentamicin and doxycycline is often used for endocarditis caused by Bartonella.

Q2: How do Bartonella’s different microenvironments affect antibiotic efficacy?

Dr. Embers: The bacteria can exist extracellularly, intracellularly, or within biofilms, each affecting its susceptibility to antibiotics and complicating treatment strategies.

Q3: Can you discuss the latest research efforts in treating Bartonelloses?

Dr. Embers: Combination therapy and novel small molecule inhibitors show promise against Bartonella henselae in vitro. However, we need more pre-clinical studies to determine antibiotic efficacy and establish specific treatment regimens.

Q4: What are some diseases caused by Bartonella spp.?

Dr. Embers: Bartonella spp. bacteria cause diseases like Cat Scratch Disease, Carrion’s Disease, and Trench Fever, with Cat Scratch Disease being the most common.

Q5: What complications can arise from Bartonella infections in immune-compromised individuals?

Dr. Embers: Severe conditions like bacillary angiomatosis, bacillary peliosis, and blood-culture-negative endocarditis can develop, requiring aggressive treatment.

Q6: What are the challenges in diagnosing Bartonella infections?

Dr. Embers: The elusive nature of the bacteria makes diagnosis difficult. We need direct and reliable diagnostic tests, as current measures have several limitations.

Q7: Could you elaborate on Bartonella’s immune evasion strategies?

Dr. Embers: Bartonella employs sophisticated mechanisms to evade the host’s immune system: 1) Intracellular Location: Residing within host cells, like endothelial cells and erythrocytes, protects them from immune responses and certain antibiotics. 2) Biofilm Formation: Bartonella can form biofilms, complex bacterial communities that are resistant to immune responses and antibiotics. 3) Immune Suppression: Bartonella may suppress the host’s immune response, reducing the effectiveness of the host’s defense mechanisms. 4) Evasion of Phagocytosis: Bartonella has mechanisms to avoid being engulfed by phagocytes. 4) Subversion of Host Cell Functions: Manipulating host cell functions, such as altering apoptosis pathways, aids in Bartonella’s survival and proliferation.

Q8: What do you believe is the future of Bartonella treatment?

Dr. Embers: The future lies in further research and clinical trials, especially focusing on combination therapy and understanding the bacteria’s behavior in different host environments.

Thank you, Dr. Embers, for your insightful answers and for your dedication to vector-borne disease research. Your work offers hope and a new direction in the fight against these challenging diseases.

Watch the Course Here

The Invisible Education Initiative, funded by the Montecalvo Foundation, provides free, accredited Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses that focus on vector-borne and environmental illness within a One Health framework. These courses are available to clinicians and the public. To donate to this initiative and to learn about Invisible International, please go here.