What is the role of Vibrio vulnificus in the etiology of necrotizing fasciitis?

Updated: Oct 17, 2018
  • Author: Steven A Schulz, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Anaerobic streptococci, occasionally seen in intravenous drug users, cause many forms of nonclostridial myonecrosis (see the image below). Some cases of necrotizing fasciitis can be caused by Vibrio vulnificus. This organism is seen more often in patients with chronic liver dysfunction, and it often follows the consumption of raw seafood. V vulnificus may cause subcutaneous bleeding.

Left upper extremity shows necrotizing fasciitis i Left upper extremity shows necrotizing fasciitis in an individual who used illicit drugs. Cultures grew Streptococcus milleri and anaerobes (Prevotella species). Patient would grease, or lick, the needle before injection.

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