Investigation of postanginal sepsis and Lemierre's syndrome in the South West Peninsula

Commun Dis Public Health. 2001 Dec;4(4):278-81.


We describe a retrospective case series of postanginal sepsis and Lemierre's syndrome (LS) identified from laboratory records of Fusobacterium necrophorum isolates and from clinical case note review. Some patients presented with sore throat, tonsillitis, quinsy or a septicaemic illness, whereas others presented with symptoms related to metastatic septic lesions with later recognition of the significance of the preceding sore throat. Patients with otitis media and mastoiditis are included in the study. The incidence of postanginal sepsis and LS appears to have increased over the study period (1994-99). The population of patients who had received antibiotics pre-admission has decreased in recent years. Attention is drawn to features which may assist in differentiating this condition from simple viral sore throats not requiring antibiotic therapy. A prospective study of the incidence of this rare but life-threatening condition mainly affecting young people is required in view of the more restricted use of antibiotic treatment for sore throat now recommended.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child, Preschool
  • England
  • Female
  • Fusobacterium Infections / complications
  • Fusobacterium Infections / etiology*
  • Fusobacterium Infections / physiopathology
  • Fusobacterium necrophorum / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharyngitis / complications*
  • Pharyngitis / drug therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sepsis / complications
  • Sepsis / etiology*
  • Sepsis / microbiology
  • Sepsis / physiopathology
  • Syndrome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents