A Case of Primary Tularemic Pneumonia Presenting With Necrotizing Mediastinal and Hilar Lymph Nodes

Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2003 Mar 31;115(5-6):196-9. doi: 10.1007/BF03040310.


Tularemia is an unusual disease caused by the gram-negative coccobacillus Francisella tularensis. The clinical features of the disease depend on the route of inoculation. Ulceroglandular and typhoidal forms have been recognized as occurring in tularemia, however primary or secondary pneumonic infections have also been reported. Symptoms, laboratory markers and radiological features are non-specific in tularemic pneumonia. Diagnosis is made on clinical grounds and evidence of elevated agglutinating antibodies to F. tularensis (> 1:128). We report a case of primary tularemic pneumonia presenting with pulmonary infiltrates and necrotizing mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes in an otherwise healthy subject from a non-endemic area. Diagnosis of tularemia was obtained serologically, and antibiotic therapy with doxycycline and streptomycin resolved symptoms and radiological abnormalities. We suggest that tularemia should be considered in the differential diagnosis of pneumonia with mediastinal and/or hilar lymphadenopathy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / immunology
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / pathology
  • Austria
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Francisella tularensis* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology*
  • Lymphatic Diseases / diagnosis
  • Lymphatic Diseases / immunology
  • Lymphatic Diseases / pathology
  • Male
  • Mediastinum
  • Necrosis
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / immunology
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / pathology
  • Tularemia / diagnosis*
  • Tularemia / immunology
  • Tularemia / pathology