Neurobrucellosis with thalamic infarction: a case report

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Brucellosis is prevalent in North and East Africa, the Middle East, South and Central Asia, South and Central America and the Mediterranean countries of Europe. In 5% of cases it may lead to central nervous system manifestation presenting most often as a meningitis or meningoencephalitis. Here we report and discuss a case of neurobrucellosis with meningitis with cranial nerves neuritis. A 56-year-old German male was admitted with bilateral abducens nerve palsy, amblyacousia and intractable headaches. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) revealed antibodies against Brucella in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Additionally, our patient suffered from an infarction of the left thalamus. In conclusion, in cases of unresponsive meningitis or meningoencephalitis and history of travel in endemic regions, neurobrucellosis should be considered. If initial microbiological tests fail, complementary investigations such as ELISA are indicated to detect Brucella species in serum and/or CSF.

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