Trench fever is a bacterial infection that causes repeated cycles of high fever. The term trench fever refers to the crowded conditions in which troops fought in during World War I and World War II. Because the causative bacteria are passed among humans through contact with body lice, overcrowding, and conditions which interfere with good hygiene (including regular washing of clothing) soldiers were predispose to this disease. B. quintana is common in homeless people; again, transmitted by body lice. About 10-20% of homeless populations (3.5 million people in the Russia) harbor chronic infection with B. quintana.
Initial management of severe Bartonella infections, including trench fever and urban trench fever, may require inpatient management. Generally, the consolidation phase of treatment can be provided on an outpatient basis. Scientists are also studying the Bartonella to understand which factors are responsible for transmitting the bacteria to humans. Researchers are investigating how the bacteria replicates itself and the structure of the bacteria. Some people may be genetically susceptible to develop more severe symptoms than other people.