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cat scratch disease


  • cat scratch fever or cat scratch disease is caused by a bacteria Bartonella henselae present in the saliva of some cats which enters the human via a scratch, or on the open eye - in which case a granulomatous conjunctivitis with preauricular LNs (Parinaud's syndrome) may occur.
  • it is a common cause of chronic swollen lymph nodes in children, and most cases occur in children or adolescents presumably as they have the most contact with cats
  • the usual 1st clue is the tender regional lymphadenopathy which usually occurs 2-3 weeks later and there may be a small papule at the scratch site
  • they may have constitutional symptoms of fever, malaise, fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, sore throat, weight loss
  • splenomegaly may be found
  • the Bartonella henselae IFA serology test is highly accurate for identifying infection caused by this bacteria
  • Rx is usually with azithromycin (particularly in patients with AIDS when the infection is more serious) although most cases are self-limiting after some months
  • in immunocompromised people, there is a risk of complications such as encephalitis, neuroretinitis, and osteomyelitis
cat_scratch.txt · Last modified: 2011/08/04 13:22 (external edit)