Infection due to Yersinia enterocolitica in a series of patients with β-thalassemia: Incidence and predisposing factors

Thomas V. Adamkiewicz, Mati Berkovitch, Chandar Krishnan, Christina Polsinelli, Dee Kermack, Nancy F. Olivieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Over 15 years, 14 patients with yersiniosis in two North American comprehensive thalassemia clinics (0.6 cases per 100 patient-years) presented with fever (100%), diarrhea (86%), right-lower-quadrant abdominal pain (71%), bacteremia (57%), a palpable abdominal mass (36%), and pharyngitis (28%). Clinically apparent infection occurred within 10 days of blood transfusion in 57% of patients. Nine patients (64%) had only a modest elevation in serum level of ferritin (<2,000 μg/L). Patients with focal abdominal findings had a higher body iron burden, as estimated by the serum ferritin level, and significant intraabdominal suppurative complications. Two patients were not receiving iron-chelating therapy with deferoxamine; one patient was receiving the experimental chelator deferiprone (L1). Iron-loaded patients with β- thalassemia are at greatly increased risk for severe yersiniosis, even when their body iron burden (as indicated by the serum ferritin level) is only moderately elevated and they are not receiving iron-chelating therapy with deferoxamine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1362-1366
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1998

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