Cat scratch fever or Cat-scratch disease is a usually benign infectious disease, most commonly found in children 1-2 weeks following a cat scratch. It was first described in 1889 by Henri Parinaud and has been called Parinaud oculoglandular disease and la maladie des griffes du chat. The cat was recognized as the vector of the disease in 1931 by Dr. Robert Debré. more...
The disease begins with a small pustule at the site of the scratch, and painful swelling of the local lymph nodes follows. In more severe cases there may be fever, malaise and anorexia. The disease usually resolves spontaneously, with or without treatment, in one month. In immunocompromised patients more severe complications sometimes occur.
The causative organism was first thought to be Afipia felis, but this was disproven by immunological studies demonstrating that cat scratch fever patients developed antibodies to another organism, called Bartonella henselae. It is a rod-shaped Gram negative organism.
Kittens are more likely to carry the bacteria in their blood, and are therefore more likely to transmit the disease than are adult cats.
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