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Rev Infect Dis. 1986 Nov-Dec;8(6):927-31.

Wounds caused by corn-harvesting machines: an unusual source of infection due to gram-negative bacilli.


The infectious complications in 23 patients with mutilating wounds due to trauma during corn harvesting were compared with those in 41 patients with factory-related hand injuries of similar severity. Initial cultures revealed bacterial growth in 89% of the agricultural wounds and in 63% of the factory wounds. A mean of 3.8 initial bacterial species were isolated per corn-harvesting wound vs. 0.9 species per factory wound. Gram-negative rods were recovered from 81% of the agricultural wounds; the commonest of these organisms were Enterobacter species and Xanthomonas maltophilia. Only 7% of factory-wound cultures grew gram-negative rods. Osteomyelitis, all with gram-negative rods, developed in five (22%) of the patients with farm injuries but did not occur in patients with factory wounds. More gram-negative rods were recovered from environmental cultures of corn-harvesting machines and corn plants than from those of factory machinery.

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