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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 19, Issue 1, Pages 69-71
Case Report

A Case of Necrotizing Fasciitis due to Streptococcus pneumoniae Serotype 5 in Saskatchewan

Meenakshi Dawar,1 Bob Russell,2 Karen McClean,3 Paul N Levett,4 Gregory J Tyrrell,5 and James Irvine6

1Canadian Field Epidemiology Program, Public Health Agency of Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2Saskatoon Health Region, Saskatoon, Canada
3Division of Infectious Diseases, Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon, Canada
4Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
5National Centre for Streptococcus, Provincial Laboratory for Public Health, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
6Saskatchewan Northern Health Authorities, Saskatchewan, Canada

Received 18 May 2007; Accepted 4 September 2007

Copyright © 2008 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.


Necrotizing fasciitis due to Streptococcus pneumoniae is a rare and grave condition, and only a few cases have been reported. Suggested risk factors include minor trauma, systemic lupus erythematosus, immunosuppression secondary to medication, use of intramuscular anti-inflammatories and alcoholism. A fatal case of pneumococcal necrotizing fasciitis that occurred in a 51-year-old woman with a history of alcohol abuse and oral anti-inflammatory use is presented. Her condition was caused by a multi-etiology outbreak of community-acquired pneumonia, from which S pneumoniae serotype 5 was also isolated. The case description outlines the subtle presentation and rapid clinical progression of this condition. Because serotype 5 antigen is included in the polysaccharide 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine, the present case highlights the importance of pneumococcal immunization programs in Canada.