Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology

Case Report

Recurrent optic neuritis associated with Chlamydia pneumoniae infection of the central nervous system

Daniela Pohl  a1, Kevin Rostasy  a1, Jens Gieffers  a2, Matthias Maass  a3 and Folker Hanefeld  a1 c1
a1 Department of Paediatrics and Paediatric Neurology, Georg August University Göttingen, Germany.
a2 Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University of Lübeck, Germany.
a3 Institute of Medical Microbiology, Hygiene and Infectious Diseases, Salzburg University Hospital, Austria.


It has been suggested that Chlamydia pneumoniae (C. pneumoniae) is involved in the pathogenesis of diverse diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), including multiple sclerosis. We report the case of a 12-year-old male with isolated recurrent optic neuritis and an associated CNS infection with C. pneumoniae. The patient presented with three attacks of optic neuritis within 5 months. A positive polymerase chain reaction for C. pneumoniae in the cerebrospinal fluid led to the diagnosis of a CNS infection with C. pneumoniae. After treatment with the antibiotic rifampicin, he experienced no further attacks during the follow-up period of 6 years. These findings suggest the possibility of a C. pneumoniae infection as a contributing factor or even causative event for the development of optic neuritis.

(Published Online August 14 2006)
(Accepted December 12 2005)

c1 Department of Paediatrics and Paediatric Neurology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen, Germany. E-mail: