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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 23 (2012), Issue 1, Pages e13-e15
Case Report

Pulmonary Involvement in Brucellosis

Mehmet Uluğ1 and Nuray Can-Uluğ2

1Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinic Microbiology, Özel Ümit Hospital, Turkey
2Department of Neurology, Özel Ümit Hospital, Turkey

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease caused by a Gram-negative bacillus of the Brucella genus with multisystem involvement, primarily affecting the reticuloendothelial system, joints, heart and kidneys. Although the disease can be spread by inhalation, pulmonary involvement is rare.

OBJECTIVE: To report a case of brucellosis with pulmonary involvement.

CASE PRESENTAION: A previously healthy 36-year-old woman was admitted with complaints of fever, weakness, night sweats, dry cough and bilateral chest pain. She hed been diagnosed with pneumonia 20 days previously and was started on a course of ampicillin for 14 days, with no response. Her chest auscultation revealed diminished breath sounds and scattered crackles and rhonchi over the inferior zone of the right hemithorax. Wright and Coombs testing resulted in titres of 1:1280 and 1:640, respectively. Chest radiography revealed an area of confluent lobar consolidation in the right lower lobe. Treatment was started with a six-week course of oral doxycycline 200 mg/day and rifampicin 600 mg/day. This treatment regimen rapidly improved the patient’s condition. Follow-up after one year showed no residual effects from the infection.

CONCLUSION: Pulmonary involvement is a rare event in the course of brucellosis, but the rate could be higher than currently estimated. In endemic regions, brucellosis should be considered as a causative agent in patients with pulmonary symptoms.