Abstract

Objective: We aimed to evaluate the epidemiological, clinical features, laboratory findings, and treatment regimens of patients with brucellosis in the Tokat region.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, the data of 236 adult patients followed with brucellosis in Tokat Gaziosmanpaşa University Medical Faculty Hospital between January 2016 and December 2021 were evaluated retrospectively. Diagnostic criteria of brucellosis were determined as culture positivity, or positivity in the Wright test at ≥ 1/160 titration, or a 4-fold increase in titer of the Wright test repeated at 2 – 3 week intervals. Demographic data, symptoms, physical examination findings, and laboratory results of the patients were evaluated.

Results: 72% (n=170) of the patients were male, and the mean age was 44.47±16.64. 53% (n=125) were engaged in animal husbandry, 21.6% (n=51) consumed unpasteurized dairy products, and 13.1% (n=31) had a family member with brucellosis. Seven (2.9%) patients with a prediagnosis of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) were diagnosed with acute brucellosis. The most common symptoms were muscle-joint pain (70.3%), fever (50.8%), and sweating (43.2%). Spondylodiscitis was observed in 13.6%, epididymal-orchitis in 8.2%, and neurobrucellosis in 0.4% of the patients. Blood culture positivity was detected in 7.2% of the cases. 91.5% had elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, and 48.3% had elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rates. The most common hematological findings were anemia (28%), leukopenia (10.6%), and thrombocytopenia (8.5%). As a therapy doxycycline + rifampicin combination was started at 36%, doxycycline + gentamicin to 5.8%, doxycycline + streptomycin to 5.4%, and doxycycline + rifampicin + gentamicin to 29.7% of the patients. Alternative treatment regimens were given to 22.9% (n=54) of the patients.

Conclusion: Brucellosis is still a critical zoonotic disease in our region. It should be kept in mind when diagnosing patients with fever, muscle-joint pain, and sweating, with epidemiological histories, have elevated acute phase reactants and cytopenia. It should also be remembered that brucellosis can be confused with CCHF in endemic areas.

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