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Rochalimaea's Role in Cat Scratch Disease and Bacillary Angiomatosis

David C. Tompkins, MD; and Roy T. Steigbigel, MD
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Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Northport, NY. SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8153. Requests for Reprints: Roy T. Steigbigel, MD, Division of Infections Diseases, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8153.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1993;118(5):388-390. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-118-5-199303010-00011
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The pathogens responsible for cat scratch disease and bacillary angiomatosis have been difficult to identify. New technologies, including analysis of the 16S ribosomal gene of DNA isolated from bacteria associated with these diseases, have helped to solve these diagnostic dilemmas. Both disorders appear to result from Rochalimaea species infection, including the recently identified R. henselae, a slow-growing, fastidious, gram-negative bacillus. Despite shared causes, cat scratch disease and bacillary angiomatosis are distinguished by differing host ranges, clinical manifestations, responses to antibiotic therapy. The tools are available now to understand these differences and to characterize more fully the natural history of infection with Rochalimaea.

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