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Bartonellosis: light and shadows in diagnostic and therapeutic issues.

Cat-scratch disease involves a prolonged and/or complicated course, and lymph node drainage is usually required. Culture and molecular techniques often yield negative results, but immunofluorescence assays may give early information, and elevated antibodies may persist for months. Cat-scratch disease should be suspected in patients with prominent swelling of lymph nodes draining from the upper limbs, limited systemic involvement, and typical epidemiological-clinical features. The temporal antibody response during the sub-acute course remains unknown. Although biomolecular assays are available, the time between onset and investigation is an obstacle to positive results. The role of surgical debridement and the unpredictable activity of antimicrobial agents warrant further investigation.

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