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Bacteremia and Skin Infections in Four Patients Caused by Helicobacter-Like Organisms.

  • Author(s): Pérez-Santiago, Josué;
  • Ramirez-Gaona, Miguel;
  • Holm-Kennedy, Robert;
  • Smith, Davey M;
  • Fierer, Joshua
  • et al.


Enterohepatic Helicobacter-like organisms (HLO) have been recognized as causes of human infection since 1984, primarily as a cause of bacteremia and cellulitis in immunocompromised individuals, but the spectrum of illness due to HLO has expanded based on numerous reports from Japan.


We report 4 epidemiologically unrelated immunocompetent patients with HLO bacteremia diagnosed within a 2-year period. Three patients had cellulitis and 1 patient had unexplained fever. 16S ribosomal deoxyribonucleic acid (rDNA) sequence analysis of 2 isolates suggested that they were Helicobacter cinaedi, and whole-genome sequencing showed that they differed only slightly from reference strains.


We believe that this syndrome is more common than reported, but it is easily overlooked because the skin lesions resemble streptococcal cellulitis and respond very rapidly to β-lactam antibiotics, and the organism is difficult to isolate from the blood. All HLO in our series were isolated from blood using the ESP system and were not detected in 2 other widely used commercial blood culture systems.

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