NAME OF DISEASE:
Direct contact between meat
infected with Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae and traumatized human
skin results in acquistion of erysipeloid. The dermal infection may lead
to endocarditis and/or septic arthritis.
ORGANISM: Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae
E. rhusiopathiae is
a short Gram+ rod, non-sporeforming (smooth colony) or a long
filamentous rod (rough colony). Non-motile. Growth is aided by blood and
glucose. Antigenic pattern is not established. Late summer, early fall
Infection with E. rhusiopathiae
in worldwide distribution in a variety of animals, especially hogs. This
is an occupational disease. Infection in man follows skin abrasions from
contact with fish, shellfish, meat and poultry. The infection, called erysipeloid,
is usually limited to the skin (mainly hands and fingers). There are pain,
edema and purplish erythema with sharp irregular margins which extends
peripherally but clears centrally. Relapses and extensions of the lesions
to distant areas are common, but there is no fever. Rare cases of endocarditis
and septic arthritis have occurred. There is no permanent immunity following
an attack. Self limiting.
Isolation of organism in
culture from biopsy material. Typical clinical appearance in a person with
occupational exposure is highly suggestive of infection due to this organism.
Bacteria are deep in corium, about capillaries.
For skin infection, penicillin
G, ampicillin or any 3rd generation cephalosporin. For endocarditis and/or
septic arthritis use cefazolin.