53 Cat Scratch Disease

Cat Scratch Disease

Cat scratch disease (CSD) is a bacterial infection spread by cats. The disease spreads when an infected cat licks a person’s open wound, or bites or scratches a person hard enough to break the surface of the skin.

The infected area may appear swollen and red with round, raised lesions and can have pus.

A person with CSD may also have a fever, headache, poor appetite, and exhaustion. Later, the person’s lymph nodes near the original scratch or bite can become swollen, tender, or painful.

Cat scratch disease – active skin lesions (1 week after inoculation)

Lymphadenopathy begins within weeks. Enlarged lymph nodes may be tender and associated overlying erythema may be present.

In immunocompetent person, the disease is usually self limiting and recovers without sequalae

Cat scratch disease – local lymphadenopathy

Around half of patients develop systemic sign and symptoms including fever, night sweat, headache, sore throat, malaise, nausea and anorexia

Atypical presentation include stellate neuroretinitis, hepatospleenomegaly, encephalopathy, persistent fever, osteomyelitis, endocarditis, parotitis, and the oculoglandularsyndrome of Perinaud


  1. Mazur-Melewska, K., Mania, A., Kemnitz, P., Figlerowicz, M., & Służewski, W. (2015). Cat-scratch disease: a wide spectrum of clinical pictures. Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postȩpy Dermatologii i Alergologii, 32, 216 – 220.
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/diseases/cat-scratch.html#:~:text=Cat%20scratch%20disease%20(CSD)%20is,the%20surface%20of%20the%20skin.