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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 12, Issue 4, Pages 254-256
Case Report

Erysipelothrix Rhusiopathiae Endocarditis and Presumed Osteomyelitis

Marc Romney,1 Stephen Cheung,2 and Valentina Montessori2

1Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, St Paulߣs Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, St Paulߣs Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Received 20 December 1999; Accepted 6 May 2000

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae is known to cause infections in humans following exposure to decaying organic matter or animals colonized with the organism, such as swine and fish. Invasive infections with this organism are unusual and are manifested primarily as infective endocarditis. The present report is believed to be the first to report a case of E rhusiopathiae endocarditis and presumptive osteomyelitis. E rhusiopathiae appears to have intrinsic resistance to vancomycin. Because vancomycin is often used empirically for the treatment of endocarditis, rapid differentiation of E rhusiopathiae> from other Gram-positive organisms is critical. In patients with endocarditis caused by a Gram-positive bacillus and epidemiological risk factors for E rhusiopathiae exposure, empirical treatment with vancomycin should be reconsidered.