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Mixed pneumonic plague and nosocomial MDR-bacterial infection of lung: a rare case report

Abstract : Background: Plague is a life-threatening disease caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Madagascar is the leading country for human plague cases worldwide. Human plague is a serious disease, particularly in its septicaemic and pneumonic forms. We report a case of pneumonic plague co-infected by a MDR-Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. Case presentation: A 24 year-old man originated from Soavinandriana, a plague focus, felt uneasy and developed high fever with chills. He started treatment by himself, by private medical care and by a traditional healer for nine days moving several times from place to place. His condition had deteriorated when he presented to a district hospital with a syndrome of dyspnea, bronchial rale and altered state of consciousness. Two days later, plague diagnosis, performed as a last resort, revealed a positive F1 antigen on rapid diagnostic test. Additional tests (pla PCR and plague serology) evidenced a Y. pestis infection. However, streptomycin treatment did not achieve a complete recovery as the course of disease was complicated by the presence of MDR-S. maltophilia in his lung. This opportunistic infection could have been favored by an immunosuppression due to Y. pestis pulmonary infection and probably been acquired during his stay at a District Hospital. He was treated with a combination of ciprofloxacin and gentamycin and recovered fully. Conclusions: Pneumonic plague infection may promote another virulent or avirulent bacterial infection particularly when it is not initially suspected. However, coinfection is rarely described and its occurrence frequency is unknown. In middle or low resources areas, which is the case of most plague endemic countries, control and prevention of infections in health facilities is not optimal. Co-infection with an opportunistic pathogen agent, such as S. maltophilia, is a risk which must not be disregarded as demonstrated by this case report. When deciding of a national control strategy, it should be taken into account in the choice of the first line treatment.
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Voahangy Andrianaivoarimanana, Eric Bertherat, Rojo Rajaonarison, Tiana Rakotondramaro, Christophe Rogier, et al.. Mixed pneumonic plague and nosocomial MDR-bacterial infection of lung: a rare case report. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, BioMed Central, 2018, 18 (1), pp.92. ⟨10.1186/s12890-018-0656-y⟩. ⟨pasteur-01918850⟩

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