Tags: Peritonitis

Intestinal Nematode Infections

Worldwide, more than 1 billion people are infested with Ascaris lumbricoides, the causative agent of ascariasis or roundworm. More than 4 million people are estimated to be infected in the United States. Infection occurs predominately in the southeastern states and more commonly in younger children, and it is associated with lower socioeconomic status. The organism is acquired through ingestion of embryonic forms of the worm, which are found in fecally contaminated soil.

Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, & Isospora Species & Microsporidia

Within the last decade, the AIDS epidemic has heightened awareness of several gastrointestinal spore-forming protozoan pathogens. The genera Cryptosporidium, Isospora, and Cyclospora are members of the subclass Coccidia and phylum Apicomplexa; the microsporidia are a group of organisms belonging to the phylum Microspora.

Penicillium Infections

Penicillium spp. are ubiquitous in nature and may be recovered with ease from a variety of sources within the hospital environment. These molds commonly contaminate clinical specimens and cause contamination in the laboratory. Colonization of nonsterile anatomical sites in humans is common. In most cases where Penicillium spp. are recovered from clinical specimens, they represent colonization.

Candida Species

Candida organisms are commensal with humans and, in the absence of alterations in host defense mechanisms, usually do not cause disease. Candida exists as normal flora within the oral cavity, throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, in expectorated sputum, in the vagina, and in the bladder of patients with indwelling catheters. There are >150 species within the genus Candida, although the majority are not known to cause disease in humans. C albicans, C krusei, C glabrata, C tropicalis, C pseudotropicalis, C guilliermondii, C parapsilosis, C lusitaniae, and C rugosa are known human pathogens.

Chlamydia Trachomatis Infections

C trachomatis is associated with urethritis, proctitis, conjunctivitis, and arthritis in women and men; epididymitis in men; and mucopurulent cervicitis (MPC), acute salpingitis, bartholinitis, and the Fitz-Hugh and Curtis syndrome in women (Box 1). C trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (see site) coinfections are common in women with MPC and men with urethritis. In men, C trachomatis is the most common etiologic agent of the nongonococcal (NGU) and postgonococcal urethritis (PGU) syndromes.

Mycoplasma & Ureaplasma

Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma species (mycoplasmas) are ubiquitous in nature and are commonly found in plants, animals, and humans. These bacteria contain the smallest amount of double-stranded DNA that is capable of producing a free-living microorganism; they measure between 0.15 and 0.3 um in diameter and = 2 um in length.

Other Mycobacteria

The increasingly relative importance of the atypical mycobacteria, many of which are ubiquitous in the environment, was recognized with the decline in tuberculous disease. Generally, atypical mycobacteria are unusual causes of disease in patients who are immunocompetent but can in immunocompromised hosts such as AIDS and cancer patients.

Mycobacterium Avium Complex (Disseminated & Pulmonary Disease)

Mavium is the most common atypical mycobacterium to cause disease in humans. In immunocompetent patients, M avium can cause pulmonary disease (Box 1). It is the most common pulmonary pathogen of all the atypical mycobacteria. There are several risk factors for pulmonary M avium infection besides AIDS.


Pasteurella multocida has been recovered from cultures of specimens from the nasopharynx and the gastrointestinal tract of a large number of asymptomatic wild and domestic animals. The highest carriage rates occur in cats (50%-90%), dogs or swine (50%), and rats (15%). Infections are usually preceded by a cat or dog bite or scratch on an extremity.