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Open Access Case report

From cat scratch disease to endocarditis, the possible natural history of Bartonella henselae infection

Frédérique Gouriet1, Hubert Lepidi1, Gilbert Habib2, Frédéric Collart3 and Didier Raoult1*

Author Affiliations

1 Unité des Rickettsies, CNRS UMR 6020, IFR 48, Faculté de Médecine, Université de la Méditerranée, 27 Boulevard Jean Moulin, 13385 Marseille cedex 05, France

2 Service de Cardiologie B, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de La Timone, Marseille, 247, rue Saint-Pierre, Marseille 13385 Cedex 5, France

3 Service de Chirurgie Cardiaque, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de La Timone, 247, rue Saint-Pierre, Marseille 13385 Cedex 5, France

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2007, 7:30  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-7-30

Published: 18 April 2007



Most patients with infectious endocarditis (IE) due to Bartonella henselae have a history of exposure to cats and pre-existing heart valve lesions. To date, none of the reported patients have had a history of typical cat scratch disease (CSD) which is also a manifestation of infection with B. henselae.

Case presentation

Here we report the case of a patient who had CSD and six months later developed IE of the mitral valve caused by B. henselae.


Based on this unique case, we speculate that CSD represents the primary-infection of B. henselae and that IE follows in patients with heart valve lesions.