Analysis of an outbreak due to Chryseobacterium meningosepticum in a neonatal intensive care unit

New Microbiol. 2003 Jan;26(1):57-63.


The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiological and clinical features of an outbreak due to Chryseobacterium meningosepticum. During a 11-day period, the outbreak was observed among four newborns in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in a teaching hospital. All patients yielded C. meningosepticum in their blood cultures, in addition one was colonised in the throat. Antimicrobial susceptibility assay showed complete resistance to penicillins, cephalosporins, aminoglycosides, imipenem, aztreonam, and tetracycline, sensitivity to ciprofloxacin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. All patients were empirically treated with amikacin and meropenem. The neonate who was the first to develop sepsis died before the culture result. When C. meningosepticum was identified, antimicrobial therapy was changed to a combination of ciprofloxacin, rifampicin and vancomycin, and three neonates were treated successfully. Environmental screening recovered C. meningosepticum from two venous catheter lines and one nutritional solution that was opened by health care staff and used for two neonates. Arbitrary primed polymerase chain reaction and antibiogram typing indicated that all isolates were epidemiologically related. This study demonstrates that rapid selection of appropriate antibiotics is critical for clinical cure and standard precautions should be reconsidered to limit the spread of this bacterium on the NICU in our hospital.

MeSH terms

  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Female
  • Flavobacterium / genetics
  • Flavobacterium / growth & development*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / blood
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / epidemiology*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal*
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sepsis / blood
  • Sepsis / epidemiology
  • Sepsis / microbiology
  • Turkey / epidemiology


  • DNA, Bacterial