Fusobacterium necrophorum sepsis after tonsillitis/pharyngitis

Fusobacterium necrophorum is a rare infection most notable for causing Lemierre's syndrome. This consists of a primary oropharyngeal infection and septic thrombophlebitis, and one or more metastatic focus. Prior to the widespread use of antibiotics, Lemierre's syndrome commonly followed a rapidly progressing course, with a high mortality. We describe a case of a previously well 18-month-old boy who presented to the emergency department with a 3-week history of progressive, right-sided, painful neck swelling and systemic sepsis. He was initially treated conservatively with intravenous antibiotics, but ultimately required surgical drainage. Lemierre's syndrome is a rare condition with increasing incidence which can have significant adverse outcomes including death. Early recognition and treatment are essential, but identifying Lemierre's disease is challenging.

as reported in: BMJ Case Rep. 2019 Jan 29; 12(1):