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THE TALE OF THE TRAVELING CHEESE: SHIGELLA IN A LUNG TRANSPLANT PATIENT

      TOPIC: Transplantation
      TYPE: Fellow Case Reports
      INTRODUCTION: Shigella is a common cause of gastroenteritis in areas of overcrowding and poor sanitation, but is seen less frequently in the developed world. Infection is mainly acquired through the fecal-oral route, but consumption of unpasteurized dairy remains a high risk for transmission. In this report, we describe a case of a lung transplant patient who presented with septic shock secondary to Shigella gastroenteritis after ingesting unpasteurized cheese brought back from Peru.
      CASE PRESENTATION: This is a case of a 62-year-old Peruvian man who underwent a bilateral lung transplant for end stage idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in November 2018, a year prior to this presentation. Pre-transplant the patient status was CMV +/+, EBV +/+. At time of presentation his immunosuppression regimen consisted of Tacrolimus 0.5 mg, Mycophenolate 500mg twice daily and Prednisone 10mg daily.He had been progressing well until he presented to the emergency department with a reported fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit, around 40 episodes a day of profuse non-bloody, watery diarrhea and abdominal discomfort. He did not complain of nausea or vomiting. He revealed that he had eaten soft, white, unpasteurized cheese that was brought from Peru two days prior.He was hypotensive with a blood pressure of 72/39, a heart rate of 107 beats per minute and SaO2 of 96% while breathing ambient air. A physical exam revealed mild diffuse abdominal tenderness, rest of exam was normal.Laboratory examination revealed a white blood cell count of 18,000 cells/mcl, platelet (PLT) count of 147,000 cells/mcl, creatinine 1.30 mg/dL, lactic acid 3.2 mmol/L. Computerized tomography (CT) of his abdomen showed fluid filled loops of the colon and small bowel, reflecting enteritis and diarrhea. Stool studies were sent. The patient was treated with intravenous fluids, Tacrolimus was held due to new acute kidney injury, Mycophenolate held due to leukopenia and Cefepime and Metronidazole were administered for empiric coverage for abdominal pathogens. On day 4 of admission Shigella flexneri (sensitive to Levofloxacin and Ceftriaxone, resistant to Ampicillin) was isolated and infectious disease consultation obtained. The patient had clinically recovered on Cefepime and he completed the antibiotic course. He was discharged the following day on his routine triple immunosuppressive therapy.
      DISCUSSION: Solid organ transplant recipients with diarrhea should be tested for shigella. Patients not responding to conventional treatment should undergo repeat culture and sensitivity testing. Bacterial culture is the gold standard for diagnosis of shigella infections. The use of antibiotics depends on the severity of illness, the age of the patient and immune status.
      CONCLUSIONS: This case highlights the importance of educating transplant patients on how to reduce certain harmful exposures that may be fatal in immunosuppressed individuals.
      REFERENCE #1: 1. GBD 2016 Diarrhoeal Disease Collaborators. Estimates of the global, regional, and national morbidity, mortality, and aetiologies of diarrhoea in 195 countries: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet Infect Dis 2018.
      REFERENCE #2: 2. Kotloff KL, Winickoff JP, Ivanoff B, et al. Global burden of Shigella infections: implications for vaccine development and implementation of control strategies. Bull World Health Organ 1999; 77:651–66
      REFERENCE #3: 3. Livio S, Strockbine NA, Panchalingam S, et al. Shigella isolates from the global enteric multicenter study inform vaccine development. Clin Infect Dis 2014; 59: 933–41.
      DISCLOSURES: No relevant relationships by Nikhil Madan, source=Web Response
      No relevant relationships by Vipul Patel, source=Web Response
      No relevant relationships by Safiyya Quintiliani, source=Web Response