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Case Reports in Infectious Diseases
Volume 2015, Article ID 537627, 4 pages
Case Report

Cepacia Syndrome in a Non-Cystic Fibrosis Patient

Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center, Brooklyn, NY 11206, USA

Received 29 April 2015; Accepted 3 August 2015

Academic Editor: Oguz R. Sipahi

Copyright © 2015 Naomi Hauser and Jose Orsini. 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.


Burkholderia (formerly Pseudomonas) cepacia complex is a known serious threat to patients with cystic fibrosis, in whom it has the potential to cause the fatal combination of necrotizing pneumonia, worsening respiratory failure, and bacteremia, known as Cepacia syndrome. The potential for this pathogen to infect non-cystic fibrosis patients is limited and its epidemiology is poorly understood. Previously reported cases of severe Burkholderia cepacia complex lung infection in immunocompetent hosts include pneumonia, bronchiectasis, pyopneumothorax, and cavitary lesions. We present a case of a 64-year-old man with Streptococcus pneumoniae community-acquired pneumonia whose hospital course was complicated by developing cavitary lung lesions, bacteremia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Repeated tracheal aspirate and blood cultures grew Burkholderia cepacia. Our case appears to be the first report of Cepacia syndrome in a patient without cystic fibrosis. This report raises concern regarding the potential severity of pulmonary Burkholderia cepacia complex infection and the need to broaden clinicians’ suspicion for Cepacia syndrome. A framework to help diagnose and treat infected non-cystic fibrosis individuals may be useful.