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Cases J. 2008 Nov 29;1(1):360. doi: 10.1186/1757-1626-1-360.

Recurrent Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction in a patient with Q fever pneumonia: a case report.

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  • 1Second Surgical Department, 401 General Army Hospital of Athens, 41 Zakinthinou Street, 15669, Papagou, Athens, Greece.


Q fever is a zoonotic disease caused by coxiella burnetii. The Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction (JHR) is associated with the antibiotic treatment of certain bacterial infections. We report a very rare case of a 36-year-old male with Q fever pneumonia that resulted in recurrent ARDS and presented the JHR during his treatment. The patient was admitted for treatment of community acquired pneumonia. He developed ARDS, was intubated and placed on mechanical ventilation. Doxycycline was empirically added to his antibiotic regiment. The patient presented an acute rise in temperature, tachycardia, tachypnea, hypoxia, hypotension and a temporary deterioration of his chest x-ray. The same 6-hour-long reaction which is known as JHR was presented another 3 times. Cultures were negative but antibodies against coxiella burnetii were positive. This case reminds us that any deterioration of a patient treated in the ICU should not be considered as a new septic episode and time should be allowed for the antibiotic regiments.

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