Indian Dermatology Online Journal

: 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 205--206

Bacillary angiomatosis in an immunocompetent individual

Balkrishna P Nikam, Natasha Vijayendran, Varsha Jamale, Mohan Kale 
 Department of Dermatology, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Karad, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Balkrishna P Nikam
Skin OPD 29, Krishna Hospital, KIMS University, Karad, Maharashtra

How to cite this article:
Nikam BP, Vijayendran N, Jamale V, Kale M. Bacillary angiomatosis in an immunocompetent individual.Indian Dermatol Online J 2018;9:205-206

How to cite this URL:
Nikam BP, Vijayendran N, Jamale V, Kale M. Bacillary angiomatosis in an immunocompetent individual. Indian Dermatol Online J [serial online] 2018 [cited 2021 Sep 24 ];9:205-206
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A 45-year-old female presented with tender erythematous papulonodular eruptions on arm, forearm, and ankle since past 1 month [Figure 1]a and [Figure 1]b.{Figure 1}

The patient had no history of any systemic illness and there was no mucous membrane involvement, no lymphadenopathy, or hepatosplenomegaly. No pathological and radiological abnormality was detected. Both venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL) test and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test for HIV were negative.

The clinical differential diagnosis of pyogenic granuloma, verruca perunana, Kaposi's sarcoma, lymphocytoma cutis, and lupus vulgaris was considered.

A diagnostic skin biopsy was done which showed prominent angiomatosis [Figure 2]a along with prominent leukocytoclasia on the background of ectatic blood vessels [Figure 2]b which showed CD31 positivity thus confirming angiogenesis [Figure 2]c. The endothelium of the blood vessels appear plump and the RBC's are surrounded by neutrophils. Identification of the causative bacillus by Warthin-Starry method was not done due to lack of laboratory facilities; however, special staining with Grocott-Gomorimethenamine silver stain was done which showed multiple clumps of argyrophilic bacteria [Figure 2]d. At this stage history of cat scratch was again asked and patient definitely recalled a strong positive history of nail scratch from a domestic cat.{Figure 2}

The final diagnosis of bacillary angiomatosis (BA) was made which was supported by special stain and immunohistochemistry studies.

The patient was started on oral doxycycline 100 mg twice daily and showed good response to therapy which was evident by regression of lesions with residual pigmentation within 4 months of starting therapy [Figure 1]c and [Figure 1]d. The patient is under regular follow-up without any evidence of reoccurrence.

BA is an infectious proliferative vascular disease and its association with HIV was first described by Stoler et al.[1] in the year 1983. Bartonellaquintana and Bartonellahenselae organisms are associated with BA.[2] Bartonella is the only genus of bacteria that is capable of producing cutaneous angioproliferation as is evident from clinical presentation in cases of verruca perunana and BA.[3] The incubation period ranges from 10 days to 210 days with average being 60 days. Skin is the most commonly affected site with occurrence ranging from 55% to 90% of cases.[4] Most of the reported cases are from immnuocompromised hosts with few reports of its occurrence in immunocompetent host. Our patient was not immunocompromised as there was no history of any repeated infections, usage of immunosuppressive drugs, or no findings suggestive of any underlying chronic infection or malignancy and was seronegative for HIV test. It is now well-documented that human infections occur either by direct contact with cats or has a history of recent licking, scratching, or biting by a cat, it can also spread by an arthropod vector.[2] In this present case, patient definitely recalled a strong positive history of contact with domestic cat before the onset of her lesions (recent scratching).

This case is reported for its rarity with an objective to increase awareness and consider BA in immunocompetent individuals also and not just in seropositive patients alone. Diagnosis if made early results in resolution of lesions; however, a prolonged course of therapy is usually required in most of the cases.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form, the patient has given her consent for her images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patient understands that name and initial will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Stoler MH, Bonfiglio TA, Steigbigel RT, Pereira M. An atypical subcutaneous infection associated with acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Am J Pathol 1983;80:714-8.
2Bernabeu-Wittel J, Luque R, Corbí R, Mantrana Bermejo M, Navarrete M, Vallejo A, et al. Bacillary angiomatosis with atypical clinical presentation in an immunocompetent patient. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2010;76:682-5.
3Velho PE, Cintra ML, Uthida-Tanaka AM, de Moraes AM, Mariotto A. What do we (not) know about the human bartonelloses? Braz J Infect Dis 2003;7:1-6.
4Chian CA, Arrese JE, Piérard GE. Skin manifestations of Bartonella infections. Int J Dermatol 2002;41:461-6.