Utility of strain typing of Propionibacterium acnes in central nervous system and prosthetic joint infections to differentiate contamination from infection: a retrospective cohort

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Abstract

The study aimed to retrospectively assess if strain typing of Propionibacterium acnes could help to distinguish between infection and contamination in isolates recovered from the central nervous system (CNS) and prosthetic joints (PJs). This was a retrospective cohort of all Propionibacterium species isolates from the Barnes-Jewish Hospital (St Louis, MO, USA) clinical microbiology laboratory from 2011 to 2014. Available frozen isolates were recovered, and strain type (IA-1, IA-2, IB, II, III, or nontypeable class A or B) was determined via polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods. For CNS isolates, P. acnes was considered pathogenic if treating physicians administered ≥7 days of directed antibiotic therapy against P. acnes. During the study period, Propionibacterium species was isolated from clinical cultures 411 times. 152 isolates were available for analysis. Of the 152 isolates, 140 were confirmed to be P. acnes, 61 of which were from the CNS (45 contaminants, 16 infections). Strain type IA-1 was more common (50.0%, 8 out of 16) among CNS infections than among contaminants (22.2%, 10 out of 45). For PJ isolates 61.3% (19 out of 31) met the criteria for infection. The predominant strain type for CNS infection was IA-1 and for PJ isolates, IB. Strain type IA-1 was isolated more often in patients with CNS infections, which may indicate a predilection of this strain type to cause CNS infection. Future research should prospectively evaluate strain typing as a means of assisting in the diagnosis of CNS infections and confirm our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2483-2489
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Volume36
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

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