Which Bartonella species cause catscratch disease?

Updated: Jun 19, 2019
  • Author: Kassem A Hammoud, MD; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Answer

In the United States, catscratch disease is the most common type of bartonellosis.

The clinical syndrome has been recognized for more than a century, but the etiology of this condition was confirmed only in the past decade. Confirmation involved isolating Bartonella species from cats and their fleas, showing an antibody titer rise in patients with the disease, and demonstrating the presence of organisms in biopsy samples through culture and PCR.

Occasional cases are negative for B henselae antibodies. In these instances, rare causes of catscratch disease such as B clarridgeiae or Afipia felis should be considered.


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