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Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases

Print version ISSN 1413-8670On-line version ISSN 1678-4391


MANFREDI, Roberto  and  SABBATANI, Sergio. Bartonellosis: suggestive case reports in adult and pediatric patients and therapeutic issues. Braz J Infect Dis [online]. 2006, vol.10, n.6, pp.411-415. ISSN 1413-8670.

Cat-scratch disease warrants extensive investigation, from an epidemiological, a diagnostic, but especially a therapeutic point of view. Two suggestive episodes of Bartonella henselae-caused cat-scratch disease are reported, and discussed in the light of the most recent literature evidence. The first case occurred in a 60-year-old man, thus suggesting that it is important to maintain an elevated level of suspicion for this disease in adults as well. Both episodes were characterized by a very prolonged and complicated disease course (with the involvement of three lymph node sets in the first case), a need for lymph-node drainage, and apparently negligible activity of many antimicrobial courses, with a very slow local cure. While specific culture and molecular biology techniques proved negative (probably due to late availability of appropriate clinical specimens), indirect immunofluorescence antibody assay was positive since the first weeks of disease, and elevated levels were also fond many months after disease onset. When clinicians face patients with prominent swelling of lymph nodes draining from the upper limbs, cat-scratch disease may be suspected on the grounds of epidemiological and clinical features, with a limited systemic involvement contrasting with a prominent local disease. The significance of specific antibody temporal kinetics in the subacute disease course is still unknown. Although biomolecular assays are now available, the time elapsed from disease onset to clinical diagnosis usually hampers diagnosis, while the roles of surgical debridement and of the unpredictable activity of antimicrobial chemotherapy warrant careful investigation.

Keywords : Adults; antimicrobial chemotherapy; Bartonellosis; Bartonella henselae; case reports; children; clinical presentation; outcome; treatment.

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