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Anaerobe. 2007 Oct-Dec;13(5-6):171-7. Epub 2007 Sep 6.

The role of anaerobic bacteria in cutaneous and soft tissue abscesses and infected cysts.

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  • 1Schools of Medicine, Georgetown University, 4431 Albemarle Street NW, Washington, DC 20016, USA.


This review presents the aerobic and anaerobic microbiological aspects and management of cutaneous and soft tissue abscesses, paronychia, anorectal, pilonidal, and perirectal abscesses, infected epidermal cysts, hidradenitis suppurativa, and pustular acne lesions. These infections often occur in different body sites or in areas that have been compromised or injured by foreign body, trauma, ischemia, malignancy or surgery. In addition to group A beta-hemolytic streptococci and Staphylococcus aureus, the indigenous aerobic and anaerobic cutaneous and mucous membranes local microflora usually is responsible for these generally polymicrobial infections. These infections may occasionally lead to serious potentially life-threatening local and systemic complications. The infections can progress rapidly and early recognition and proper medical and surgical management is the cornerstone of therapy.

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