Bartonella henselae-mediated disease in solid organ transplant recipients: two pediatric cases and a literature review


Correspondence to:

Anita K. McElroy, MD PhD, Emory University,

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, 2015 Uppergate Dr. Suite 500, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA

Tel: 404 727 5642

Fax: 404 727 9223



Bartonella henselae, the etiologic agent of cat-scratch disease, causes a well-defined, self-limited syndrome of fever and regional lymphadenopathy in immunocompetent hosts. In immunocompromised hosts, however, B. henselae can cause severe disseminated disease and pathologic vasoproliferation known as bacillary angiomatosis (BA) or bacillary peliosis. BA was first recognized in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus. It has become more frequently recognized in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients, but reports of pediatric cases remain rare. Our review of the literature revealed only one previously reported case of BA in a pediatric SOT recipient. We herein present 2 pediatric cases, one of which is the first reported case of BA in a pediatric cardiac transplant recipient, to our knowledge. In addition, we review and summarize the literature pertaining to all cases of B. henselae-mediated disease in SOT recipients.