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Scrub typhus as a rare cause of acute pyelonephritis: case report.
BMC Infect Dis. 2020 May 06; 20(1):322.BI

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Scrub typhus can present with atypical signs and symptoms such as those of acute kidney injury, gastroenteritis, pneumonitis, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Meningitis, encephalitis, and hepatic dysfunction have also been reported, particularly in severe cases with multisystem involvement. Scrub typhus has never been reported in the literature to cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) which includes cystitis and pyelonephritis.

CASE PRESENTATION

A 45-year old male presenting to the outpatient unit with fever, right flank pain, and burning micturition for three days was initially treated for UTI. However, he returned to the hospital on the fourth day of illness with persistent symptoms. He was hospitalized, with intravenous (IV) ceftriaxone. Computerized tomography scan of his abdomen-pelvis showed features of acute pyelonephritis, so his antibiotics were upgraded to meropenem and teicoplanin. Despite this, the patient's condition deteriorated. Laboratory investigations showed multisystem involvement: decreasing platelets, raised creatinine, and deranged liver panel. As Kathmandu was hit by dengue epidemic during the patient's hospitalization, on the seventh day of his illness, blood samples were sent for tropical fever investigation. All tests came out negative except for scrub typhus-IgM antibodies positive on rapid diagnostic test. The patient's symptoms subsided after 48 h of starting doxycycline and he became fully asymptomatic four days later. Fever did not recur even after discontinuing other IV antibiotics, favoring scrub typhus disease rather than systemic bacterial sepsis.

CONCLUSIONS

Scrub typhus is an emerging infectious disease of Nepal. Therefore, every unexplained fever cases (irrespective of clinical presentation) should be evaluated for potential Rickettsiosis. Moreover, for cases with acute pyelonephritis, atypical causative agents should be investigated, for example scrub typhus in this case.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Internal Medicine, Kathmandu Medical College, Kathmandu, Nepal.Kathmandu Medical College, Kathmandu, Nepal.Kathmandu Medical College, Kathmandu, Nepal.Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies/Gandaki Medical College Teaching Hospital, Post Box: 24560, Sundhara, Kathmandu, Nepal. surajbpkihs2012@gmail.com.

Pub Type(s)

Case Reports
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32375669

Citation

Bhattarai, Tulsi, et al. "Scrub Typhus as a Rare Cause of Acute Pyelonephritis: Case Report." BMC Infectious Diseases, vol. 20, no. 1, 2020, p. 322.
Bhattarai T, Poudel SC, Pokharel N, et al. Scrub typhus as a rare cause of acute pyelonephritis: case report. BMC Infect Dis. 2020;20(1):322.
Bhattarai, T., Poudel, S. C., Pokharel, N., & Bhattarai, S. (2020). Scrub typhus as a rare cause of acute pyelonephritis: case report. BMC Infectious Diseases, 20(1), 322. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-020-05050-2
Bhattarai T, et al. Scrub Typhus as a Rare Cause of Acute Pyelonephritis: Case Report. BMC Infect Dis. 2020 May 6;20(1):322. PubMed PMID: 32375669.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Scrub typhus as a rare cause of acute pyelonephritis: case report. AU - Bhattarai,Tulsi, AU - Poudel,Sujan Chandra, AU - Pokharel,Nishma, AU - Bhattarai,Suraj, Y1 - 2020/05/06/ PY - 2020/01/23/received PY - 2020/04/23/accepted PY - 2020/5/8/entrez PY - 2020/5/8/pubmed PY - 2020/7/11/medline KW - Acute pyelonephritis KW - Case report KW - Scrub typhus KW - Urinary tract infection SP - 322 EP - 322 JF - BMC infectious diseases JO - BMC Infect Dis VL - 20 IS - 1 N2 - BACKGROUND: Scrub typhus can present with atypical signs and symptoms such as those of acute kidney injury, gastroenteritis, pneumonitis, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Meningitis, encephalitis, and hepatic dysfunction have also been reported, particularly in severe cases with multisystem involvement. Scrub typhus has never been reported in the literature to cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) which includes cystitis and pyelonephritis. CASE PRESENTATION: A 45-year old male presenting to the outpatient unit with fever, right flank pain, and burning micturition for three days was initially treated for UTI. However, he returned to the hospital on the fourth day of illness with persistent symptoms. He was hospitalized, with intravenous (IV) ceftriaxone. Computerized tomography scan of his abdomen-pelvis showed features of acute pyelonephritis, so his antibiotics were upgraded to meropenem and teicoplanin. Despite this, the patient's condition deteriorated. Laboratory investigations showed multisystem involvement: decreasing platelets, raised creatinine, and deranged liver panel. As Kathmandu was hit by dengue epidemic during the patient's hospitalization, on the seventh day of his illness, blood samples were sent for tropical fever investigation. All tests came out negative except for scrub typhus-IgM antibodies positive on rapid diagnostic test. The patient's symptoms subsided after 48 h of starting doxycycline and he became fully asymptomatic four days later. Fever did not recur even after discontinuing other IV antibiotics, favoring scrub typhus disease rather than systemic bacterial sepsis. CONCLUSIONS: Scrub typhus is an emerging infectious disease of Nepal. Therefore, every unexplained fever cases (irrespective of clinical presentation) should be evaluated for potential Rickettsiosis. Moreover, for cases with acute pyelonephritis, atypical causative agents should be investigated, for example scrub typhus in this case. SN - 1471-2334 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32375669/Scrub_typhus_as_a_rare_cause_of_acute_pyelonephritis:_case_report_ L2 - https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-020-05050-2 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -