Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae bacteremia without endocarditis: rapid identification from positive blood culture by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. A case report and literature review

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Luigi Principe
Silvia Bracco
Carola Mauri
Silvia Tonolo
Beatrice Pini
Francesco Luzzaro *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Francesco Luzzaro |


Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae is a Gram-positive bacillus that is infrequently responsible for infections in humans. Three forms have been classified: a localized cutaneous form (erysipeloid) caused by traumatic penetration of E. rhusiopathiae, a generalized cutaneous form and a septicemic form. The latter type of disease has been previously associated with a high incidence of endocarditis. Here we report a case of E. rhusiopathiae bacteremia in a 74- year-old man, probably started from an erysipeloid form, in which endocarditis did not develop. This case presents some particular and uncommon features: i) no correlation with animal source; ii) correlation between bacteremia and erysipeloid lesion; iii) absence of endocarditis. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry allowed to obtain a rapid identification (within 4 hours from bottle positivity) of E. rhusiopathiae. Together with direct antimicrobial susceptibility testing, this approach could improve the rate of appropriate therapy for bloodstream infections due to this fastidious pathogen.

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