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June 1971

Hemophilus influenzae Abscess Associated With Septicemia

Author Affiliations

St. Louis
From the Edward Mallinckrodt Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, and the Division of Infectious Diseases, St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1971;121(6):534-535. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1971.02100170116021

A 2-month-old female infant was hospitalized because of an abscess of the midpalmar space of the left hand following six days of fever. Purulent material obtained from the abscess cavity grew a nontypable strain of Hemophilus influenzae while a blood culture obtained at time of admission grew H influenzae, type B. Incision and drainage and intravenous antibiotic therapy resulted in prompt resolution of infection. Abscesses due to H influenzae described previously have also grown untypable strains of this organism which suggest, perhaps, a unique role in abscess production for nontypable H influenzae. In contrast, this report supports the concept that H influenzae abscess may result from septicemia with type B, H influenzae and that spontaneous loss of capsule in the environment of the abscess cavity renders the strain untypable.