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Cases J. 2009 Mar 10;2:6397. doi: 10.1186/1757-1626-0002-0000006397.

Lemierre's syndrome, reemergence of a forgotten disease: a case report.

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Department of Medicine, Staten Island University Hospital, 475 Seaview Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10305, USA.


Lemierre's syndrome is a rare disorder of young adults caused by the anaerobic bacterium, Fusobacterium necrophorum and occasionally by other Fusobacterium species (F. nucleatum, F. mortiferum and F. varium etc). The condition is characterized by a primary oropharyngeal infection with evidence of septic thrombophlebitis, exhibited by positive blood cultures, clinical or radiographic evidence of internal jugular vein thrombosis, and at least one metastatic focus. The incidence of Lemierre's syndrome is reported to be nearly one in a million. In the pre-antibiotic era, Lemierre's syndrome followed a fulminant, often fatal course. During the 1960s and 1970s, the syndrome was rarely reported when penicillin was commonly prescribed to treat oropharyngeal infections. Today, antibiotic-resistant organisms are a major concern, thus causing more prudent prescribing of antibiotics. We present a case report of a 27-year-old man with worsening pharyngitis, which illustrates that subsequent reemergence of this often forgotten disease may become more common in clinical setting.

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