Diagnosis of tularemia in a university hospital in Türkiye -11-year evaluation
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Aim: Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative coccobacillus and is the causative agent of tularemia, which is endemic in our country. The most common clinical form in Turkey is the oropharyngeal form. Sensitive lymphadenopathy is the most important finding, and fever, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain may occur in all clinical forms. Rodents such as rabbits, mice, and squirrels are the main reservoirs for humans, and the transmission is through contact with infected animal secretions and organs, contaminated water, and food. This study aimed to examine the socio-demographic, epidemiological, and clinical features of cases diagnosed with tularemia.
Materials and Methods: Among the 583 patients whose serum samples were sent with a preliminary diagnosis of tularemia between 2011 and 2021, tularemia microagglutination test result (MAT) ≥1/160 titer, 18 years and older cases were included in the study.
Results: A total of 24 tularemia cases were detected, with a mean age of 43.3±17 years, 10 (41.7%) were male, and 14 (58.3%) were female. The most common symptoms and findings among the cases were lymphadenopathy (LAP) (95.8%), fatigue (66.7%), sore throat, and high fever (58.3%), and the most common epidemiological history was living in a rural area (91.7%) and dealing with animal husbandry (66.7%), and 18 (75%) cases were referred to as oropharyngeal tularemia. More than half of the cases were detected between October and March.
Conclusion: Tularemia is one of the endemic diseases in our country, and the epidemiological history should be taken carefully and kept in mind in the differential diagnosis of lymphadenopathy. Since it is the first tularemia study conducted in Malatya, it shows the epidemiological characteristics of the region.
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