Tags: Soft tissue infections

Actinomyces

Disease occurs when mechanical insult disrupts the mucosal barrier or organisms gain access to privileged sites. For example, actinomycosis commonly occurs after dental procedures, trauma, surgery, or aspiration. Actinomyces israelii causes the majority of human disease owing to this genus, but other species, including Actinomyces naeslundii, Actinomyces viscosus, Actinomyces enksonii, Actinomyces odontolyticus, and Actinomyces meyeri have also been implicated. Actinomycosis is threefold more common in men than women.

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.

Important Anaerobes

Anaerobic bacteria are the predominant component of the normal microbial flora of the human body. The following sites harbor the vast majority of them:

Toxin-Mediated Infections

Tetanus is a disease of global incidence produced by the toxin of Clostridium tetani. The risk of acquiring it increases in people > 60 years of age and in neonates, especially in Third World countries where poor sanitary conditions predispose to umbilical stump contamination. Immunization campaigns have played a crucial role in bringing about the observed decreasing incidence in the United States. The pathogenesis of tetanus involves the absorption of preformed toxin, or, less commonly, invasion of toxin-producing organisms from contaminated wounds; it may complicate surgical wounds colonized with C tetani.

Vibrio & Campylobacter

Cholera is a disease of antiquity and probably represents some of the diarrheal illnesses described by Hippocrates and other early physicians. Robert Koch discovered V cholerae in 1884. Since the 17th century, at least eight epidemics of cholera have swept the globe. At least seven of the eight pandemics originated from the Ganges River delta, where cholera is endemic.

Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

The genus Pseudomonas consists of a number of human pathogens, the most important of which is Pseudomonas aeruginosa. P aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen found widely in soil, water, and organic material, reflecting its limited nutritional requirements. A moist environment is favored. Human colonization in the community is rare, and, when it occurs, the skin, gut, and upper or lower airway are colonized.

Infection in Patients With Aids

Paeruginosa infections may occur in patients with AIDS. Risk factors for infection include a CD4 count of < 100 cells/mL3, neutropenia or functional neutrophil defects, intravascular catheterization, hospitalization, and prior use of antibiotics including ciprofloxacin or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Many cases are community acquired. Bacteremia is common, and the lung or an intravenous catheter is the most frequent portal of entry.

Skin & Soft Tissue Infections

Infections caused by P aeruginosa involving the skin may be primary or secondary. Secondary infections have been described above and include ecthyma gangrenosum, subcutaneous nodules, vesicles, bullae, cellulitis, deep abscesses, and necrotizing fasciitis. Primary skin lesions are noted as complications of neutropenia, burns, decubitus ulcers, prematurity, exposure to a moist environment, and hydrotherapy. Burn wound sepsis is a serious complication that may be caused by P aeruginosa.

Enteritis Caused by Escherichia coli & Shigella & Salmonella Species

The Enterobacteriaceae are a diverse family of bacteria that, in nature, exist in soil, on plant material, and in the intestines of humans and other animals. Another ecological niche in which these organisms thrive is the hospital. Many of these organisms cause a wide variety of extraintestinal diseases that are often nosocomial and commonly present in debilitated or immunocompromised hosts.

Streptococcus Dysgalactiae Subspp. Equisilimis & Streptococcus Zooepidemicus: Clinical Syndromes

The symptoms of pharyngitis caused by these organisms mimic those of S pyogenes pharyngitis (Box 50-1; see also site). Poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis has been described following S dysgalactiae subspp. equisimilis and S zooepidemicus pharyngitis.