Background: In septic arthritis and osteomyelitis in children, the infectious agent is frequently not identified because of failure in obtaining bacterial growth from blood culture or osteoarticular aspirations.
Material and methods: We report a case of septic arthritis caused by Kingella kingae in a two-year-old boy. On the basis of a PubMed literature search, we present an overview of osteoarticular infections with K kingae in childhood.
Results and interpretation: Over the last ten years there has been an increasing number of reports on osteoarticular infection in children caused by K kingae. The clinical course is usually benign. Direct inoculation of osteoarticular specimens into blood culture bottles is important in order to enhance isolation of K kingae, as this organism will often fail to grow when plated directly on solid media. Improved culture methods and increased awareness are important in order to identify the organism and thus enable targeted antibiotic therapy.