Fusobacterium necrophorum and other Fusobacterium spp. isolated from head and neck infections: A 10-year epidemiology study in an academic hospital

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Fusobacterium spp. from clinical specimens are increasingly reported. We sought to describe the epidemiology, the microbiological, and the clinical characteristics of head and neck infections caused by Fusobacterium necrophorum and other Fusobacterium spp.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Retrospective cohort study between October 1st, 2004 and September 30(th), 2014 performed in an academic hospital. Electronic patient charts and the laboratory information system were reviewed for demographic and microbiological data. The number and percentages of specific diagnosis and treatment among patients with positive Fusobacterium spp. culture were calculated. The incidence was calculated based on the number of specimens investigated each year.

RESULTS:

Included were 230 cultures of 230 patients (median age of 28 years, 61.7% men). F. necrophorum was often found in young patients with high C-reactive protein (CRP) and high number of leukocytes in blood. Other Fusobacterium spp. were often found in middle aged patients with relatively high CRP and slightly increased leukocytes. Three major causes of the isolation of F. necrophorum and other Fusobacterium spp. were acute tonsillitis (n = 18, incidence of 0.2%), peritonsillar abscess (n = 39, 0.5%) and acute otitis (n = 45, 0.1%). While F. necrophorum was found in majority (37/57) of patients with acute tonsillitis or peritonsillar abscess, Fusobacterium spp. other than F. necrophorum were found in the majority (35/45) of patients with acute otitis. Isolated fusobacteria were susceptible to beta-lactam antibiotics, clindamycin and metronidazole. The outcomes of patients with Fusobacterium spp. were good.

CONCLUSION:

F. necrophorum and other Fusobacterium spp. are rare cause of head and neck infections. The infections are well treated by combination of antibiotics and surgery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-124
Number of pages4
JournalAnaerobe
Volume34
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Fusobacterium necrophorum

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