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February 16, 1994

Rochalimaea InfectionsAre They Zoonoses?

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine) and Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford (Calif) University Medical Center.

JAMA. 1994;271(7):553-554. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510310083044

Rochalimaea are gram-negative bacteria that are recently discovered agents of new clinical syndromes, including bacillary angiomatosis (BA) and bacillary peliosis hepatis, and two well-known diseases, cat scratch disease (CSD) and trench fever. Trench fever, first described as an epidemic infection in World War I, was attributed to louse-borne Rochalimaea quintana infections, which were thought to be quite rare in the United States. Rochalimaea henselae is a newly described member of the genus,1 very closely related to R quintana, and was first shown to be a causative agent of BA,2 peliosis hepatis,3,4 and a febrile bacteremia syndrome5 in 1990. Recent studies have also demonstrated that R quintana infection can also produce BA in patients who have tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus.6Rochalimaea henselae may also cause a syndrome resembling trench fever in immunocompetent individuals exposed to tick bites,7 and a few patients without

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