Decades of research on Bartonella bacteria, which are difficult to detect and can live for extended periods within the body, led North Carolina State University veterinarian Ed Breitschwerdt to propose a fifth criterion be added to Koch's postulates that addresses a one health perspective on infectious diseases. Bartonella species infect humans and animals and cause myriad nonspecific symptoms that often complicate diagnosis and treatment, according to Dr. Breitschwerdt. If researchers could show a common pathology in different species, they'd have further evidence that stealth pathogens are indeed causative agents, suggest Dr. Breitschwerdt and his colleagues.

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