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Infections with Eikenella corrodens: A Newly Recognized Human Pathogen

GERALD J. DORFF, M.D.; LEON J. JACKSON, M.D.; and MICHAEL W. RYTEL, M.D., F.A.C.P.
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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Michael W. Rytel, M.D., Milwaukee County General Hospital, 8700 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53226.


Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Ann Intern Med. 1974;80(3):305-309. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-80-3-305
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Eikenella corrodens is a facultative anaerobic Gram-negative bacillus of uncertain pathogenicity for man. Our interest in E. corrodens was stimulated by two patients with convincing infections with this organism; one was a case of meningitis and the other a fatal case of bacterial endocarditis. Accordingly, we reviewed the charts of 24 patients from whom E. corrodens had been isolated from clinical specimens during a recent 6-month period at one hospital. Eight of these patients were considered to have clinically significant infections with this organism because it was either the only pathogen isolated or was isolated from clinical specimens that were believed to be free from contamination. Seven of the eight patients had abdominal abscesses, and one had an empyema. Advanced age, ruptured viscus, and underlying carcinoma seemed to predispose to infection with E. corrodens. The mortality rate was 30% even though the organism seems to be sensitive to most of the commonly used antibiotics. The pathogenic potential of E. corrodens can no longer be doubted. It should be sought more often as a possible causal agent of infection.

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