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Acute Emergence of Elizabethkingia meningoseptica Infection among Mechanically Ventilated Patients in a Long-Term Acute Care Facility

  • Kingsley N. Weaver (a1), Roderick C. Jones (a1), Rosemary Albright (a2), Yolanda Thomas (a2), Carlos H. Zambrano (a2), Michael Costello (a3), Janet Havel (a3), Joel Price (a4) and Susan I. Gerber (a1)...



To describe an outbreak of infection associated with an infrequently implicated pathogen, Elizabethkingia meningoseptica, in an increasingly prominent setting for health care of severely ill patients, the long-term acute care hospital.


Outbreak investigation.


Long-term acute care hospital with 55 patients, most of whom were mechanically ventilated.


We defined a case as E. meningoseptica isolated from any patient specimen source from December 2007 through April 2008, conducted an investigation of case patients, obtained environmental specimens, and performed microbiologic testing.


Nineteen patients had E. meningoseptica infection, and 8 died. All case patients had been admitted with respiratory failure that required mechanical ventilation. Among the 8 individuals who died, the time from collection of the first specimen positive for E. meningoseptica to death ranged from 6 to 43 days (median, 16 days). Environmental sampling was performed on 106 surfaces; E. meningoseptica was isolated from only one swab. Three related pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns were identified in patient isolates; the environmental isolate yielded a fourth, unrelated pattern.


Long-term acute care hospitals with mechanically ventilated patients could serve as an important transmission setting for E. meningoseptica. This multidrug-resistant bacterium could pose additional risk when patients are transferred between long-term acute care hospitals and acute care hospitals.


Corresponding author

Chicago Dept of Public Health, 2160 W Ogden Ave, Chicago, IL 60612 (


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Acute Emergence of Elizabethkingia meningoseptica Infection among Mechanically Ventilated Patients in a Long-Term Acute Care Facility

  • Kingsley N. Weaver (a1), Roderick C. Jones (a1), Rosemary Albright (a2), Yolanda Thomas (a2), Carlos H. Zambrano (a2), Michael Costello (a3), Janet Havel (a3), Joel Price (a4) and Susan I. Gerber (a1)...


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