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Bartonella henselae Infection Associated with Autoimmune Thyroiditis in a Child

Chiuri R.M. · Matronola M.F. · Di Giulio C. · Comegna L. · Chiarelli F. · Blasetti A.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Chieti, Chieti, Italy Horm Res Paediatr 2013;79:185-188 (DOI:10.1159/000346903)


Background: Bartonella henselae was discovered a quarter of a century ago as the causative agent of cat-scratch disease. More recently, Bartonella has been found to be responsible for a broad range of clinical syndromes (prolonged fever, hepatosplenic disease, encephalopathies, ocular disease) and associated with autoimmune conditions. Case: This is the first report of autoimmune thyroiditis related to B. henselae infection. We describe an 11-year-old boy who presented with goiter and weight loss. At the time of admission a 2 × 1 cm mildly tender right supraclavicular lymph node was noted in association with an erythematous papule at the same side of the neck. We describe an association of autoimmune hyperthyroidism (Hashitoxicosis) with B. henselae infection (cat-scratch disease) in a pediatric patient. Conclusion: Different types of infections are implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune thyroid disease through molecular mimicry or other mechanisms, despite their role is disputed. We speculated that autoimmune thyroiditis should be added to the spectrum of clinical syndromes that can be triggered by B. henselae.


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