Cowpox after a cat scratch – case report from Poland
More details
Hide details
Department of Zoonotic and Tropical Diseases, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
Robert Koch Institute, Center for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens, Highly Pathogenic Viruses, Berlin, Germany
Karolina Świtaj   

Department of Zoonotic and Tropical Diseases, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2015;22(3):456–458
Cowpox in humans is a rare zoonotic disease; its recognition is therefore problematic due to the lack of clinical experience. The differential diagnosis includes other poxvirus infections and also infections with herpesviruses or selected bacteria. The clinical course can be complicated and the improvement may take weeks. Late diagnosis is one of the causes of unnecessary combined antibiotic therapy or surgical intervention. A case of cowpox after a cat scratch in a 15-year-old girl is presented, with a summary of the available clinical data on cowpox infections.
Damon IK. Orthopoxviruses: Vaccinia (Smallpox Vaccine), Variola (Smallpox), Monkeypox, and Cowpox. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, editors. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2010.p.1923–1932.
Chantrey J, Meyer H, Baxby D, Begon M, Bown KJ, Hazel SM, et al. Cowpox: reservoir hosts and geographic range. Epidemiol Infect. 1999; 122: 455–60.
Durraffour S, Mertens B, Meyer H, van den Oord JJ, Mitera T, Matthys P, et al. Emergence of cowpox: study of the virulence of clinical strains and evaluation of antivirals. PLOS One. 2013; 8(2): e55808. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055808.
Becker C, Kurth A, Hessler F, Kramp H, Gokel M, Hoffmann R et al. Cowpox Virus Infection in Pet Rat Owners. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2009; 106(19): 329–334.
Baxby D, Bennett M, Getty B. Human cowpox 1969–93: a review based on 54 cases. Br J Dermatol. 1994; 131: 598–607.
Czerny CP, Wagner K, Gessler K, Mayr A, Kaaden OR. Monoclonal blocking-ELISA for the detection of orthopox virus antibodies in feline sera. Vet Microbiol. 1996; 52: 185–200.
Nowotny N. Serologic studies of domestic cats for potential human pathogenic virus infections from wild rodents. Zentralbl Hyg Umweltmed. 1996; 198: 452–461.
Strenger V, Müller M, Richter S, Revilla-Fernandez S, Nitsche A, Klee SR, et al. A 17-Year-Old Girl with a Black Eschar. Clin Infect Dis. 2009; 48(1): 91–2, 133–4.
Pelkonen PM, Tarvainen K, Hynninen A, Kallio ERK, Henttonen H, Palva A, et al. Cowpox with severe generalized eruption, Finland. Emerg Infect Dis. 2003; 9: 1458–1461.
Haase O, Moser A, Rose C, Kurth A, Zillikens D, Schmidt E. Generalized cowpox infection in a patient with Darier disease. Br J Dermatol. 2011; 164(5): 1116–1118.
Czerny CP, Eis-Hübinger AM, Mayr A, Schneweis KE, Pfeiff B. Animal poxviruses transmitted from cat to man: current event with lethal end. Zentralbl Veterinarmed B. 1991; 38(6): 421–31.
Kurth A, Nitsche A. Fast and reliable diagnostic methods for the detection of human poxvirus infections. Future Virol. 2007; 2(5): 467–479.
Hostetler KY. Synthesis and early development of hexadecylo pro-pylcidofovir: an oral antipoxvirus nucleoside phosphonate. Viruses 2010; 2: 2213–2225.
Andrei G, Snoeck R. Cidofovir Activity against Poxvirus Infections. Viruses. 2010; 2: 2803–2830.
Durraffour S, Andrei G, Snoeck R. Tecovirimat, a p37 envelope protein inhibitor for the treatment of smallpox infection. Idrugs. 2010; 13: 181–191.