Brucella infection with pancytopenia after pediatric liver transplantation

Polat K. Y., TOSUN M., Ertekin V., AYDINLI B., Emre S.

TRANSPLANT INFECTIOUS DISEASE, vol.14, no.3, pp.326-329, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Brucellosis is considered the most widespread zoonosis in the world. It has been reported that the prevalence of seropositivity among the Turkish population varies from 3% to 14%. We present a case of brucellosis after pediatric liver transplantation. A 15-year-old boy with the diagnosis of neuro Wilson's disease underwent deceased-donor liver transplantation. The postoperative immunosuppressive protocol consisted of steroids and tacrolimus. Two months after the operation the patient experienced fever to 40 degrees C. The patient complained of poor appetite, headache, and diarrhea. He had had pancytopenia. Despite administration of appropriate antibiotics, antiviral and antifungal agents, fever persisted for > 1 month. Multiple blood, urine, stool, and sputum cultures were negative. Bone marrow aspirate revealed hypocellularity. Liver biopsy was performed, but rejection was not observed on biopsy specimen. Brucella serology was positive and Brucella agglutination titer was 1:320. Bone marrow culture was positive for Brucella but blood culture was negative. The patient was then treated with oral doxycyline and rifampin for 8 weeks. No previous case report about Brucella infection after liver transplantation has appeared in the literature, to our knowledge; our case is presented as the first. Bone marrow hypoplasia is a rare feature of Brucella infection. Our patient with brucellosis and pancytopenia had had hypocellular bone marrow. The clinical and hematologic findings resolved with treatment of the infection. Brucella infection should be suspected in liver transplanted recipients with fever of unknown origin, especially in a recipient who has lived in an endemic area. Brucella also should be considered as a possible diagnosis in patients with pancytopenia.