What are the clinical presentations for Enterobacter wound infections?

Updated: Jun 18, 2019
  • Author: Susan L Fraser, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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In most cases, Enterobacter skin and soft-tissue infections are hospital-acquired and include cellulitis, fasciitis, myositis, abscesses, and wound infections.

Enterobacter species can infect surgical wounds in any body site, and these infections are clinically indistinguishable from infections caused by other bacteria.

In 1985, Palmer et al reviewed an outbreak of postsurgical Enterobactermediastinitis. [19] Cases varied in severity from fulminant bacteremic infections to less-severe wound infections. The source was unknown, and a case-control analysis suggested that surgical complications and prophylaxis with cephalosporins were associated with the infection. The level of skin and wound colonization was high among patients who underwent cardiac surgery during this outbreak. The outbreak was controlled with barrier isolation, restriction of contacts, and a reduction in the duration of cephalosporin prophylaxis.

Other Enterobacter wound infections have been reported in the literature. Infected body sites have included a posterior spinal wound, burn wounds (many reports), and different types of injuries involving trauma to multiple sites. Some of the infections were polymicrobial. Some authors have noted a trend of traditional wound bacteria (eg, S aureus) being replaced by Enterobacter species and other nosocomial pathogens. Some trauma-related wound infections are acquired before hospital admission. This was the case with agricultural mutilating wounds caused by corn-harvesting machines. Gram-negative rods were predominant (81%), the most common being Enterobacter species and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia.

Enterobacter species occasionally cause community-acquired soft-tissue infections in healthy individuals, including those who sustain war-related or trauma-related injuries.

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