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July 1, 1983

Fusobacterium necrophorum Septicemia

Author Affiliations

Maplewood, Minn

JAMA. 1983;250(1):35. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340010021020

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To the Editor.—  We wish to add to the list of serious complications associated with Fusobacterium necrophorum septicemia as reported by Seidenfeld, Sutker, and Luby (1982; 248:11:1348).

Report of a Case.—  A 16-year-old girl was admitted to the hospital was suspected meningitis. Five weeks earlier, she had been seen when results from a slide test for infectious mononucleosis heterophil antibodies were positive. One week before admission, she experienced an upper respiratory tract infection. Two days before admission, she noted thick nasal discharge and a severe, unrelenting headache. At the time of admission, she had moderate nuchal rigidity and a WBC count of 23,600/cu mm. Admission spinal tap and CSF examination findings were unremarkable.Because of increasing nuchal rigidity, a syncopal spell, and a new left-sided Horner's syndrome, the spinal tap was repeated two days later, revealing an elevated CSF WBC count of 830/cu mm, 73% polymorphonuclear leukocytes, and 27% monocytes.