What is the role of polymicrobial joint infections (PJI) in the etiology of septic arthritis?

Updated: Sep 03, 2019
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Polymicrobial joint infections (5-10% of cases) and infection with anaerobic organisms (5% of cases) are usually a consequence of trauma or abdominal infection. Individuals with multiple pathogens have a higher rate of previous native and prosthetic joint infections. The most common pathogens were coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CoNS), MSSA, and enterococci. [4]

The organism that causes Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, commonly produces a septic arthritis picture. [17]

Brucella may cause septic arthritis in areas where cattle are not vaccinated. The organism of Whipple disease, Mycoplasma species, and Ureaplasma species infrequently involve septic joints. [2]

A wide variety of viruses (eg, human immunodeficiency virus [HIV], lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, hepatitis B virus, rubella virus), mycobacteria, fungi (eg, Histoplasma species, Sporothrix schenckii, Coccidioides immitis, Blastomyces species), and other pathogens produce nonsuppurative joint infections. [18]


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