Food-borne bacteremic illnesses in febrile neutropenic children

  • Anselm Chi-wai Lee | Children’s Haematology and Cancer Centre, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore, Singapore.
  • Nellie Dawn Siao-ping Ong Children’s Haematology and Cancer Centre, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore, Singapore.


Bacteremia following febrile neutropenia is a serious complication in children with malignancies. Preventive measures are currently targeted at antimicrobial prophylaxis, amelioration of drug-induced neutropenia, and nosocomial spread of pathogens, with little attention to community-acquired infections. A retrospective study was conducted at a pediatric oncology center during a 3-year period to identify probable cases of food-borne infections with bacteremia. Twenty-one bacteremic illnesses affecting 15 children receiving chemotherapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation were reviewed. Three (14%) episodes were highly suspected of a food-borne origin: a 17-year-old boy with osteosarcoma contracted Sphingomonas paucimobilis septicemia after consuming nasi lemak bought from a street hawker; a 2-year-old boy with acute lymphoblastic leukemia developed Chryseobacterium meningosepticum septicemia after a sushi dinner; a 2-year-old girl was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and Lactobacillus bacteremia suspected to be of probiotic origin. All of them were neutropenic at the time of the infections and the bacteremias were cleared with antibiotic treatment. Food-borne sepsis may be an important, but readily preventable, cause of bloodstream infections in pediatric oncology patients, especially in tropical countries with an abundance of culinary outlets.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.
Case Reports
bacteremia, chryseobacterium meningosepticum, febrile neutropenia, foodborne infections, lactobacillus, sphingomonas paucimobilis.
  • Abstract views: 917

  • PDF: 408
  • HTML: 126
How to Cite
Lee, A. C.- wai, & Ong, N. D. S.- ping. (2011). Food-borne bacteremic illnesses in febrile neutropenic children. Hematology Reports, 3(2), e11.