ABSTRACT: Tularemia is an infection caused by Francisella tularensis with a worldwide distribution and diverse clinical manifestations. In recent years, tularemia cases are increasing in Turkey, with a special attention to Marmara, western Blacksea and Central Anatolia regions. The aim of this study was to evaluate tularemia cases admitted to our hospital during an outbreak emerged at Central Anatolia between December 2009 and September 2010, making a point for the disease. A total of 32 patients (17 female, 15 male; age range: 15-80 years, mean age: 41 ± 16 years) with fever, sore throat, cervical mass and failure to respond to beta-lactam antibiotics, were followed up with the preliminary diagnosis of tularemia. The diagnosis was confirmed by specific laboratory tests. Serum samples were obtained from 25 patients and in 17 (68%) of them microagglutination test yielded positive result (≥ 1/160) in their first serum samples. All of the 8 patients who had negative results in their first samples (< 1/160), revealed seroconversion in their second samples. In 10 (91%) of the 11 patients from whom lymph node aspirates were obtained, PCR performed with species specific (tul4) primers yielded positivity and subspecies differentiation done by RD1 primers identified the agent as F.tularensis subspecies holarctica. F.tularensis growth was not detected in the cultures of lymph aspirates and/or throat swabs of the cases (n= 16). All the patients had oropharyngeal tularemia and eight of them also had oculoglandular form. The mean duration of the symptoms were 25.6 ± 17.2 (2-60) days. They had a history of oral intake of contaminated water. Cervical or submandibular lymphadenopathy were detected in all patients. One patient had cervical abscess and the other one had erythema nodosum. Elevated sedimentation rate was found in 26 (81.3%) patients and elevated CRP in 24 (75%) patients. Spontaneous drainage was detected in nine cases during follow-up. Lymph node aspiration was performed in patients when fluctuation was detected. Streptomycin 2 g/day for 10 days was given to 21 patients and doxycycline 2 x 100 mg for 14 days was given to 11 patients. Twelve (37.5%) patients received further antibiotic treatment since they failed to respond to the first therapy. Of the patients, 21 recovered completely and two patients had lymph node excision. No severe complications were observed. The patients who applied to the hospital within 10 days of the initiation of the symptoms were treated successfully, while the others that applied later were not. In conclusion, tularemia which is an endemic disease in Turkey, should be kept in mind in patients with fever, sore throat and lymphadenopathy.
Mikrobiyoloji bülteni 10/2011; 45(4):762-4. · 0.40 Impact Factor