Trench fever

23 February 2017, by DOUDIER B. & BROUQUI Ph.


Trench fever is the primary clinical form of infection caused by the ubiquitous facultative intracellular bacterium Bartonella quintana which is transmitted by body-lice. It causes intermittent fever, with headaches and severe leg pain. Particularly prevalent during the First World War, it caused major epidemics with an estimated million or more cases in Europe on both sides ; further outbreaks occurred during the Second World War and then the disease disappeared. In certain populations, poor hygiene and the presence of body lice are contributing to its re-emergence. In the industrialised countries, it is mainly the homeless who are affected (16 to 30 percent) [1, 3].

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