Cat-scratch disease

What is Cat-scratch disease?

Cat-scratch disease is a rare infectious disease, caused by the Gram-negative bacteria Bartonella henselae, that is transmitted to humans via a scratch or bite of an infected cat and that has a variable clinical presentation but that usually manifests with an erythematous papule at the site of inoculation followed by chronic regional lymphadenopathy. Clinical course is usually self-limiting but disseminated illness with high fever, hepatosplenomegaly, granulomatous osteolytic lesions, encephalitis, retinitis, and atypical pneumonia can also occur. Cat-scratch disease can atypically present as parinaud oculoglandular syndrome (unilateral conjunctivitis and preauricular lymphadenopathy).

Other condition names

  • Bartonellosis due to Bartonella henselae infection

Inheritance type

Not applicable


  • Europe: 1-9 in 100,000

Age of Onset

  • All ages
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