[An unusual cause of febrile neutropenia: brucellosis].

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[An unusual cause of febrile neutropenia: brucellosis].

Mikrobiyol Bul. 2014 Oct;48(4):669-73

Authors: Solmaz S, Asma S, Ozdoğu H, Yeral M, Turunç T

Febrile neutropenia which is a common complication of cancer treatment, is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality. Several gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria are responsible for infections in neutropenic patients, however the most common microorganisms are Escherichia coli and coagulase-negative staphylococci, in decreasing order. Although Brucella spp. infections are endemic in Turkey, brucellosis-related febrile neutropenia has only rarely been reported. In this report, a case of brucellosis-related febrile neutropenia in a patient with acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) was presented. A 56-year-old male patient presenting with fever, petechiae/purpura, leukocytosis, thrombocytopenia, and anemia was admitted to our hospital. Laboratory studies revealed a hemoglobin level of 8.27 g/dl, leukocyte count of 77.100 k/ml, absolute neutrophil count of 200 k/ml, and platelets at 94.200 k/ml. The patient was diagnosed as AML-M1 and piperacillin/tazobactam was started as the first-line antibiotic therapy due to the febrile neutropenia. On admission, blood and urine cultures were negative. Once the fever was controlled, remission/induction chemotherapy was initiated. However, fever developed again on the eight day, and vancomycin was added to the therapy. Since the fever persisted, the antibiotic therapy was gradually replaced with meropenem and linezolid. However, fever continued and the patient's general condition deteriorated. Subsequently performed Brucella tube agglutination test revealed positivity at 1/320 titer and the microorganism grown in blood culture (Bactec 9050; BD, USA) was identified as B.melitensis by conventional methods. Rifampicin and doxycycline therapy was started immediately, however, the patient died due to septic shock. If the tests for brucellosis were performed earlier when response to second step antibiotic therapy lacked in this patient, it was assumed that mortality could be prevented by the prompt initiation of the appropriate treatment. Thus, since brucellosis is endemic in Turkey, it should be considered as a possible agent of febrile neutropenia especially in patients unresponsive to empiric antibiotherapy and appropriate diagnostic tests should be performed.

PMID: 25492662 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]