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Dec 2011

Erysipeloid (Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae Infection) Acquired From a Dead Kakapo

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland (Dr Werner); Institute of Veterinary Animal Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand (Dr Gartrell); and Department of Medicine, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC (Dr Norton).

Arch Dermatol. 2011;147(12):1456-1458. doi:10.1001/archderm.147.12.1456-b

Erysipeloid is a zoonotic infection caused by the gram-positive rod Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. Human cases are generally acquired from domesticated animals, swine and poultry in particular (in which the disease is called swine erysipelas and avian erysipelas, respectively). In typical cases, the pathogen is inadvertently inoculated through openings in a person's skin, causing tender violaceous plaques on the dorsal surfaces of hands, fingers, and finger webspaces. We report a case of erysipeloid acquired from one of the world's most endangered animals, New Zealand's giant flightless parrot, the kakapo (Strigops habroptilus) (Figure 1).

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