|Cellular and colonial morphology of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae|
In humans, Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae infections most commonly present in a mild cutaneous form known as erysipeloid or fish poisoning. E. rhusiopathiae can cause an indolent cellulitis, more commonly in individuals who handle fish and raw meat. It gains entry typically by abrasions in the hand. Bacteremia and endocarditis are uncommon but serious sequelae. Due to the rarity of reported human cases, E. rhusiopathiae infections are frequently misidentified at presentation.
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The treatment of choice is a single dose of benzathine benzylpenicillin given by intramuscular injection, or a five-day to one-week course of either oral penicillin or intramuscular procaine benzylpenicillin. Erythromycin or doxycycline may be given instead to people who are allergic to penicillin. E. rhusiopathiae is intrinsically resistant to vancomycin.
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