Evaluation of tularemia cases focusing on the oculoglandular form
Introduction: Tularemia is a zoonotic disease caused by Francisella tularensis. The oculoglandular form is one of the rarest forms. In this study, evaluated tularemia patients, focusing on the ocular form and the efficacy of early antibiotic therapy.
Methodology: During a tularemia outbreak, the epidemiological and clinical findings, laboratory assays, and drugs used for the treatment of 48 patients were recorded prospectively. The diagnosis of tularemia was confirmed with microagglutination test (MAT) as well as clinical findings.
Results: The mean age of the subject was 48.6 years; 23 (47.9%) of them were female. Thirty-six (81.25%) patients had clinical presentation compatible with oropharyngeal tularemia, seven (14.58%) with oculoglandular tularemia, and two (4.1%) with ulceroglandular tularemia. The most common symptoms were fever (91.6%) and sore throat (81.2%), and the most common findings were lymphadenopathy (91.6%) and tonsillopharyngitis (81.2%). In the oculoglandular form, fever, lymphadenopathy, periorbital edema, conjunctival injection, and chemosis were found. The most distinctive ophthalmic feature was follicular conjunctivitis and conjunctival epithelial defects. Forty-five cases had positive serological results with MAT. All the patients were treated with antibiotics considered effective against F. tularensis, and topical antimicrobial treatment was given to the patients with oculoglandular tularemia. Twenty-six (54.16%) patients, who were admitted within three weeks of the onset of symptoms, recovered without sequel.
Conclusions: During tularemia outbreaks, ocular involvement should be considered carefully. The early administration of appropriate treatment will be more effective in resolving the infection and preventing complications. Along with systemic antibiotic therapy, topical treatment will help recovery.
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