Clinical Course and Treatment of Human Brucellosis in a Sample of Hospitalized Cases in Albania
Keywords:Brucellosis, treatment, antibiotic, Albania
Brucellosis remains a public health problem in many Mediterranean countries. In this work are presenting data of human brucellosis clinics and treatment in a sample of hospitalized patients. Methods: All patient charts at regional hospital in Gjirokastra, Albania were systematically reviewed, during the period 2016-2021. All hospitalized patients with a laboratory confirmed diagnoses of brucellosis were included in the study. Variables of interest were clinical symptoms, clinical course and treatment provided. Sub-acute brucellosis was defined as clinical persistence of 3-12 months while cases with clinical symptoms persisting for ?12 months were defined as chronic brucellosis. Results: 79% of the 86 patients were male and residing in rural areas. Fever, profuse sweating and arthralgia were the most common clinical signs. Around 70% of the brucellosis patients showed all these three symptoms. Despite a systematic tendency for more frequent presence of high fever, increased sweating and arthralgia on younger patients we could not find statistically significant differences among demographic categories. 18.6% of cases presented persistence of clinical signs after at least 3 months from the moment of the diagnoses. Almost 7% of the cases were classified as chronic cases. 75.6% of all patients were treated with a combination of doxycycline and ceftriaxone antibiotic regime. Conclusions: The massive use of a cephalosporin in treatment of brucellosis cannot be justified and may reflect a larger problem related to population awareness and health provider attitudes concerning antibiotic use in Albania. The results of this study may assist future interventions to improve brucellosis case management at hospitals or primary health care level as well as national measures at a larger scale for control of the disease.