Trench Fever is a self-limited infection caused by Bartonella, a rickettsial organism transmitted by body lice, characterized by weakness, fever, rash, and leg pains. It was common during World War I but is now rare. Also called 5-day fever, quintana fever. Public Health England (PHE) has reported significant increases in Trench fever notifications across England, with a total of 348 new cases since the season began in September 2013, compared to an average of 120 cases reported for the same period in the previous 10 years. The last season to have this level of Trench fever activity was 1989 to 1990 when 542 notifications were received.
Tetracycline-group antibiotics (doxycycline, tetracycline) are commonly used. Chloramphenicol is an alternative medication recommended under circumstances that render use of tetracycline derivates undesirable, such as severe liver malfunction, kidney deficiency, in children under nine years and in pregnant women. The drug is administered for seven to ten days. 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.