Erysipelas, a large retrospective study of aetiology and clinical presentation.BMC Infect Dis 2015; 15:402BI
Erysipelas is a common and severe infection where the aetiology and optimal management is not well-studied. Here, we investigate the clinical features, bacteriological aetiology, and treatment of erysipelas.
Episodes of erysipelas in a seven-years period in our institution were studied retrospectively using a pre-specified protocol and is presented with descriptive and comparative statistics.
1142 episodes of erysipelas were identified in 981 patients. Patients had a median age of 61 years, 59 % were male, a majority had underlying diseases or predisposing conditions, and the leg was most often affected. Wound cultures were taken in 343 episodes and 56 grew group A streptococci (GAS), 53 grew group G streptococci (GGS), 11 grew group C streptococci (GCS), and 153 grew Staphylococcus aureus. Blood cultures were drawn in 49 % of episodes and 50 cultures were positive with GGS as the most common finding (21 cultures) followed by GAS in 13, group B streptococci in 5, S. aureus in 4, and GCS in 3 cultures. In 45 % of episodes, patients received antibiotics with activity against S. aureus.
GGS is the most common streptococcus isolated in erysipelas and the role of S. aureus in erysipelas remains elusive.