Trench fever is a clinical syndrome caused by infection with Bartonella quintana; the condition was first described during World War I. Contemporary B quintana disease, commonly referred to as urban trench fever, is typically found in homeless, alcoholic, and poor populations. 1.3% of population self-reported having Trench fever in Germany 2001. The term trench fever refers to the crowded conditions in which troops fought in during World War I and World War II.
Although recovery is usually complete in 1 to 2 mo and mortality is negligible, bacteremia may persist for months after clinical recovery, and prolonged (> 1 mo) doxycycline or macrolide treatment may be needed. Doxycycline 100 mg po bid for 28 days is given plus, if endocarditis is suspected, gentamicin 3 mg/kg/day IV for 2 wk. Researchers at Great Ormond Street Hospital have in the past claimed tackling a Trench fever with medicine before it is allowed to run its course, may slow recovery time, because the temperature can help to kill the bacteria causing the illness.