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October NaN, 2002

Cellulitis and Sepsis Due to Sphingobacterium

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;288(16):1985. doi:10.1001/jama.288.16.1981

To the Editor: Cellulitis-associated sepsis is usually due to gram-positive organisms such as group A streptococci or Staphylococcus aureus. This report describes the case of an elderly man with cellulitis and sepsis due to Sphingobacterium spiritivorum the patient most likely acquired from walking barefoot in his back yard.

A 72-year-old man with Parkinson disease presented with acute onset of fever, chills, leg redness, and confusion. Vital signs were: temperature, 38.8°C; pulse, 90/min; respirations, 40/min; and blood pressure, 95/57 mm Hg. Physical examination revealed marked erythema and warmth of the entire right leg without crepitus, discharge, or bullae. There was evidence of chronic venous stasis, onychomycosis, and intertriginous cracking of the toes. The white blood cell count was 26 100 cells/mm3 with 66% neutrophils and 33% band forms. Computed tomography of the leg revealed evidence of cellulitis without abscess, myositis, or fasciitis.

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