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Cat-Scratch Disease, France, 1999–2009 | CDC EID

EID Journal Home > Volume 17, Number 4–April 2011

Volume 17, Number 4–April 2011
Seasonality of Cat-Scratch Disease, France, 1999–2009
Diane Sanguinetti-Morelli, Emmanouil Angelakis, Hervé Richet, Bernard Davoust, Jean Marc Rolain, and Didier Raoult

Author affiliations: Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France (D. Sanguinetti-Morelli, E. Angelakis, H. Richet, J.M. Rolain, D. Raoult); and Service de Santé des Armées–Secteur Vétérinaire, Marseille (B. Davoust)

Suggested citation for this article

Cat-scratch disease is seasonal in the United States and Japan; but no data are available from Europe. To assess the seasonality of the disease in France, we analyzed lymph node biopsy specimens collected during 1999–2009. Most (87.5%) cases occurred during September–April and peaked in December.

Bartonella henselae is the causative agent of cat-scratch disease (CSD), the most common cause of lymphadenopathy in adults and children (1). Cats are the main reservoir of B. henselae, which is transmitted among cats by the Ctenocephalides felis flea (2). Bartonella organisms remain viable in flea feces, and transmission to humans results in inoculation of B. henselae–contaminated flea feces into the skin through a scratch (3). However, transmission of B. henselae from cats to humans through scratches is rare (4). In classic CSD, gradual regional lymph node enlargement is accompanied by a papule that develops in the scratch line after 3–10 days and persists from a few days to 2–3 weeks (4).

The link between seasons and CSD incidence has been described in the United States (5,6) and in Japan (7). However, because no data are available on seasonal variations of CSD in Europe, or in France, we studied lymph node biopsy specimens obtained January 1999–December 2009 from patients throughout France with suspected CSD.

Cat-Scratch Disease, France, 1999–2009 | CDC EID

Suggested Citation for this Article
Sanguinetti-Morelli D, Angelakis E, Richet H, Davoust B, Rolain JM, Raoult D. Seasonality of cat-scratch disease, France, 1999–2009. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2011 Apr [date cited].


DOI: 10.3201/eid1704.100825

Comments to the Authors
Please use the form below to submit correspondence to the authors or contact them at the following address:

Didier Raoult, Unité des Rickettsies, CNRS UMR 6236–IRD 198, Université de la Méditerranée, Faculté de Médecine, 27 blvd Jean Moulin, 13005 Marseille, France
; email: didier.raoult@gmail.com

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