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.
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