European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 153, Issue 1, pp 23–27 | Cite as

Disseminated cat-scratch disease: Detection ofRochalimaea henselae in affected tissue

  • Katharina Waldvogel
  • Russell L. Regnery
  • Burt E. Anderson
  • Rosmarie Caduff
  • Jürg Caduff
  • David Nadal
Infectious Diseases Original Paper


An immunocompetent 9-year-old boy with disseminated catscratch disease involving spleen, cervical and abdominal lymph nodes, skull, and one clavicle is reported. Antibodies toRochalimaea quintana andR. henselae were detected, at increasing, then decreasing concentration. DNA extracted from the biopsied skull lesion was amplified by polymerase chain reaction and hybridized with species-specific oligonucleotides proving the presence ofR. henselae in affected tissue. Our findings suggest thatR. henselea plays a pathogenic role in cat-scratch disease.

Key words

Cat-scratch diseaseRochalimaea henselae Rochalimaea quintana Serology Diagnosis 



cat-scratch disease


polymerase chain reaction


Rochalimaea henselae 1 (oligonucleotide)


Rochalimaea quintana 1 (oligonucleotide)


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Brenner DJ, Hollis DG, Moss CV, English CK, Hall GS, Vincent J, Radosevic J, Birkness KA, Bibb WF, Quinn FD, Swaminathan B, Weaver RE, Reeves MW, O'Connor SP, Hayes PS, Tenover FC, Steigerwalt AG, Perkins BA, Daneshvar MI, Hill BC, Washington JA, Woods TC, Hunter SB, Hadfield TL, Ajello GW, Kaufmann AF, Wear DJ, Wenger JD (1991) Proposal ofAfipia felis sp. nov. (formerly the cat scratch disease bacillus),Afipia clevelandensis sp. nov. (formlerly the Cleveland Clinic Foundation strain),Afipia broomeae sp. nov., and three unnamed genospecies. J Clin Microbiol 29: 2450–2460PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Carithers HA (1985) Cat-scatch disease. An overview based on a study of 1,200 patients. AJDC 139: 1124–1133PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Carithers HA, Margileth AM (1991) Cat-scatch disease. Acute encephalopathy and other neurologic manifestations. Am J Dis Child 145: 98–101PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dolan MJ, Wong MT, Regnery RL, Jorgensen JH, Garcia M, Peters J, Drehner D (1993) Syndrome ofRochalimaea henselae adenitis suggesting cat scratch disease. Ann Intern Med 118: 331–336PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    English CK, Wear DJ, Margileth AM, Lissner CR, Wals GP 81988) Catscratch disease. Isolation and culture of the bacterial agent. JAMA 259: 1347–1352Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Koehler JE, Quinn FD, Beger TH, LeBoit PE, Tappero J (1992) Isolation ofRochalimaea species from cutaneous lesions of bacillary angiomatosis. N Engl J Med 327: 1625–1631PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lenoir AA, Storch GA, DeSchryver-Kecskemeti K, Shackelford GD, Rothbaum RJ, Wear DJ, Rosenblum JL (1988) Granulomatous hepatitis associated with cat scratch disease. Lancet I: 1132–1136Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lewis DW, Tucker SH (1986) Central nervous system involvement in cat scratch disease. Pediatrics 77: 714–721PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lucey D, Dolan MJ, Moss CW, Garcia M, Hollis DG, Wegner S, Morgan G, Almeida R, Leong D, Greisen KS, Welch DF, Slater LN (1992) Relapsing illnes due toRochalimaea henselae in immunocompetent hosts: implication for therapy and new epidemiological associations. Clin Infect Dis 14: 683–688PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Muszynski MJ, Eppes S, Riley HD (1987) Granulomatous osteolytic lesion of the skull associated with cat-scratch disease. Pediatr Infect Dis J 6: 199–201PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Myers SA, Prose NS, Garcia JA, Wilson KH, Dunsmore KP, Kamino H (1992) Bacillary angiomatosis in a child undergoing chemotherapy. J Pediatr 121: 574–578PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Perkins BA, Swaminathan B, Jackson LA, Brenner DJ, Wenger JD, Regnery RL, Wear DJ (1992) Case 22-1992-Pathogenesis of cat scratch disease. N Engl J Med 327: 1599–1600PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Regnery RL, Anderson BE, Clarridge JE, Rodriguez-Barradas MC, Jones DC, Carr JH (1992) Characterization of a novelRochalimaea species,R. henselae sp. nov., isolated from blood of a febirle, human immunodeficiency virus-positive patient. J Clin Microbiol 30: 265–274PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Regnery RL, Olson JG, Perkins BA, Bibb W (1992) Serological response to “Rochalimaea henselae” antigen in suspected cat-scratch disease. Lancet 339: 1443–1445PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rizkallah MF, Meyer L, Ayoub EM (1988) Hepatic and splenic abscesses in cat-scratch disease. Pediatr Infect Dis J 7: 191–195PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wear DJ, Margileth AM, Hadfield TL, Fisher GW, Schlagel CJ, King FM (1983) Cat scratch disease: A bacterial infection. Science 221: 1403–1405PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Welch DF, Pickett DA, Slater LN, Steigerwalt AG, Brenner DJ (1992)Rochalimaea henselae sp. nov., a cause of septicemia, bacillary angiomatosis, and parenchymal bacillary pelliosis. J Clin Microbiol 30: 275–280PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wright DK, Manos MM (1990) Sample preparation from paraffin-embedded tissues. In: Innis DH, Gelfand JJ, Sninsky JJ, White TJ (eds) PCR protocols: a guide to methods and applications. Academic press Inc, San Diego, California, pp 153–158Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Zangwill KM, Hamilton DH, Perkins BA, Regnery RL, Plikaytis BD, Hadler JL, Cartter ML, Wenger JD (1993) Cat scratch disease in Connecticut. Epidemiology, risk factors, and evaluation of a new diagnostic test. N Engl J Med 329: 9–13Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharina Waldvogel
    • 1
  • Russell L. Regnery
    • 4
  • Burt E. Anderson
    • 4
  • Rosmarie Caduff
    • 3
  • Jürg Caduff
    • 2
  • David Nadal
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Immunology/HaematologyUniversity Children's HospitalZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Division of Paediatric RadiologyUniversity Hospital of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of Clinical PathologyUniversity Hospital of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  4. 4.Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious DiseasesCenters for Diseases Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations