Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Infectious Diseases and BioMed Central.

Open Access Case report

Circulating cytokines and procalcitonin in acute Q fever granulomatous hepatitis with poor response to antibiotic and short-course steroid therapy: a case report

Chung-Hsu Lai12, Jiun-Nong Lin12, Lin-Li Chang23, Yen-Hsu Chen45* and Hsi-Hsun Lin16*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, E-Da Hospital/I-Shou University, Kaohsiung County, Taiwan

2 Graduate Institute of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

3 Faculty of Medicine, Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

4 Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

5 Graduate Institute of Medicine, Tropical Medicine Research Institute, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

6 Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei City, Taiwan

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Infectious Diseases 2010, 10:193  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-193

Published: 1 July 2010

Abstract

Background

Q fever is a zoonosis distributed worldwide that is caused by Coxiella burnetii infection and the defervescence usually occurs within few days of appropriate antibiotic therapy. Whether the changes of cytokine levels are associated with acute Q fever with persistent fever despite antibiotic therapy had not been investigated before.

Case Presentation

We report a rare case of acute Q fever granulomatous hepatitis remained pyrexia despite several antibiotic therapy and 6-day course of oral prednisolone. During the 18-month follow-up, the investigation of the serum cytokines profile and procalcitonin (PCT) revealed that initially elevated levels of interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-8, IL-10, and PCT decreased gradually, but the IL-6 remained in low titer. No evidence of chronic Q fever was identified by examinations of serum antibodies against C. burnetii and echocardiography.

Conclusions

The changes of cytokine levels may be associated with acute Q fever with poor response to treatment and PCT may be an indicator for monitoring the response to treatment.