Treatment of cat-scratch disease

Dennis A. Conrad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Cat-scratch disease is an infection caused by Bartonella henselae, a fastidious gram-negative bacillus acquired from exposure to an infected kitten or cat. The most common manifestation of human disease is lymphadenitis. A typical forms of infection include Parinaud oculoglandular syndrome, stellate neuroretinitis, persistent fever without localizing signs, hepatosplenic infection, encephalopathy, osteomyelitis, and endocarditis. Immunocompromised individuals with B. hensalae infection may develop bacillary angiomatosis, bacillary peliosis, and relapsing bacteremia with fever syndrome. The bacillus is susceptible to several antibacterial agents in vitro, including penicillins, cephalosporins, aminoglycosides, tetracyclines, macrolides, quinolones, trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole, and rifampin. Greatest clinical efficacy has been observed following treatment with rifampin, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole, clarithromycin, and azithromycin. In one placebo-controlled study, azithromycin therapy was associated with more rapid diminution in size of infected lymph nodes. The majority of cases of cat-scratch disease occurring in normal hosts do not require anti-infective therapy for resolution of infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-59
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 10 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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