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Cases J. 2009 Sep 1;2:7969. doi: 10.4076/1757-1626-2-7969.

Brucellosis presenting as pyrexia of unknown origin in an international traveller: a case report.

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Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences New Delhi, 110029 India.



In this era of globalization frequent traveling across the world is common. It has resulted in exchange of knowledge and expertise among medical professionals around the world which has a visible positive impact. However, this predisposes the travelers to the risk of acquiring an 'alien' disease endemic to a particular country. This may be a great challenge for the treating physicians to manage such patients due to lack of facility for diagnosis and experience in handling such disease. We present a similar case scenario and problems we faced in managing that patient.


A 40-year-old man visited to Africa, developed a skin rash over ankle after an insect bite. This was followed by high grade fever. He was investigated in Kenya, however, returned to India pending results. Later he developed sleepiness and coarse tremors. Work up for the cause of fever was inconclusive. He was diagnosed with trypanosomiasis based on reports from Kenya. In absence of alternate diagnosis and clinical setting, we treated him for trypanosomiasis. This therapy resulted no improvement in patient's condition. Finally, at request of the patient's attendants he was referred to Belgium where he was diagnosed as brucellosis and treated successfully.


Our patient was indeed suffering from neurobrucellosis. Brucellosis is a frequently missed cause of pyrexia. Our case highlights that in this era, taking help from our professional colleagues over the globe is easy which can improve patient care greatly.

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