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J Hosp Infect. 2002 Mar;50(3):196-201.

Recurrent Sphingomonas paucimobilis -bacteraemia associated with a multi-bacterial water-borne epidemic among neutropenic patients.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.


A cluster of septicaemias due to several water-related species occurred in a haematological unit of a university hospital. In recurrent septicaemias of a leukaemic patient caused by Sphingomonas paucimobilis, genotyping of the blood isolates by use of random amplified polymorphic DNA-analysis verified the presence of two distinct S. paucimobilis strains during two of the separate episodes. A strain of S. paucimobilis identical to one of the patient's was isolated from tap water collected in the haematological unit. Thus S. paucimobilis present in blood cultures was directly linked to bacterial colonization of the hospital water system. Heterogeneous finger-printing patterns among the clinical and environmental isolates indicated the distribution of a variety of S. paucimobilis clones in the hospital environment. This link also explained the multi-microbial nature of the outbreak.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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