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Diseases of Swine 31-1.png
Cellular and colonial morphology of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae
Classification and external resources
Specialty infectious disease
ICD-10 A26
ICD-9-CM 027.1
DiseasesDB 4432
MedlinePlus 000632
eMedicine derm/602
MeSH D004887

In humans, Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae infections most commonly present in a mild cutaneous form known as erysipeloid[1] or fish poisoning.[2] E. rhusiopathiae can cause an indolent cellulitis, more commonly in individuals who handle fish and raw meat.[3] It gains entry typically by abrasions in the hand. Bacteremia and endocarditis are uncommon but serious sequelae.[4][5] Due to the rarity of reported human cases, E. rhusiopathiae infections are frequently misidentified at presentation.[1]


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.[6] Erythromycin or doxycycline may be given instead to people who are allergic to penicillin. E. rhusiopathiae is intrinsically resistant to vancomycin.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Brooke C, Riley T (1999). "Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae: bacteriology, epidemiology and clinical manifestations of an occupational pathogen". J Med Microbiol. 48 (9): 789–99. PMID 10482289. doi:10.1099/00222615-48-9-789. 
  3. ^ Lehane L, Rawlin G (2000). "Topically acquired bacterial zoonoses from fish: a review". Med J Aust. 173 (5): 256–9. PMID 11130351. 
  4. ^ Brouqui P, Raoult D (2001). "Endocarditis due to rare and fastidious bacteria". Clin Microbiol Rev. 14 (1): 177–207. PMC 88969Freely accessible. PMID 11148009. doi:10.1128/CMR.14.1.177-207.2001. 
  5. ^ Nassar I, de la Llana R, Garrido P, Martinez-Sanz R (2005). "Mitro-aortic infective endocarditis produced by Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae: case report and review of the literature". J Heart Valve Dis. 14 (3): 320–4. PMID 15974525. 
  6. ^ a b Vinetz J (October 4, 2007). "Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae". Point-of-Care Information Technology ABX Guide. Johns Hopkins University.  Retrieved on October 28, 2008. Freely available with registration.