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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 84-89

Severe scrub typhus infection in infancy with multiple organ dysfunction: A retrospective observational study from Eastern India

1 Department of Pediatric Medicine, Institute of Child Health, Medical College Kolkata, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Pediatric Medicine, Medical College Kolkata, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sanchari Ghosh
Department of Pediatric Medicine, Institute of Child Health, Kolkata - 700 017, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpcc.jpcc_10_22

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Background: Scrub typhus is relatively less common among infants but found to have a mentionable association with multiple organ dysfunction and turbulent course. The aim of this study was to delineate the clinicolaboratory profile of infantile scrub typhus, complication, course of illness, and responsiveness to therapy. Subjects and Methods: This retrospective observational study was undertaken in two tertiary care pediatric teaching centers in eastern India among infants with diagnosis of scrub typhus. Clinical features, especially pattern of organ dysfunction, laboratory findings with emphasis on hyperferritinemia, and treatment schedules with responsiveness to therapy, were analyzed retrospectively. Results: A total of 272 cases of scrub typhus had been admitted during the study period. Among them, 17 kids (6.25%) were infants. All of them presented with lethargy and poor feeding as a common complaint along with seizures and respiratory distress. Seven out of 17 (41%) were identified early. Fifteen (88%) were critically ill and required pediatric intensive care unit admission, out of which 13 (76.4%) patients were put on ventilator support. Thirteen (76.4%) of them developed hyperferritinemia with multi-organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and required additional immunotherapy. Sixteen of them recovered completely without any sequelae. Severe complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome and MODS were significantly high (P = 0.001 and 0.004, respectively) and hospital stay was longer (P-0.04) in infants in comparison to older children. Conclusion: We conclude that infantile scrub typhus, though not very common, should be considered an important differential in infants presenting with an acute febrile illness with hyperferritinemia and MODS. Infants with scrub typhus can have a more stormy disease course compared to their older counterparts.

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