, Volume 155, Issue 1, pp 1-6

Childhood brucellosis in north-western Greece: A retrospective analysis

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Abstract

Fifty-two cases of childhood brucellosis which occurred in north-western Greece during the 15-year period 1979–1993, are reviewed. It is believed that they represent very closely the total incidence of the disease in the region which has a population of 100,000 children aged 0–14 years old. Brucellosis-affected children were almost exclusively from goat-or shepherd families and of both sexes and all age groups. A broad spectrum of clinical manifestations ranging from malaise only to brain abscess was observed. Fever and arthralgia were the most common manifestations followed by malaise, myalgia, sweating, rash, cough, and gastro-intestinal, cardiac and CNS involvement. Splenomegaly was found more often than hepatomegaly and lymphadenopathy. Laboratory findings included anaemia, leukopenia, neutropenia, lymphocytopenia, monocytosis, eosinophilia, thrombocytopenia and pancytopenia. Leukocytosis and lymphocytosis were extremely rare and ESR and serum C-reactive protein levels were mildly elevated. All patients had positive Rose Bengal slide agglutination tests and standard tube agglutination titres of 1∶60 or more. When performed, blood culture was often diagnostic. The children were treated with streptomycin for 2 weeks plus either tetracyclines or trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole for 3 weeks. Treatment was well tolerated. Relapse was observed in one case.