Kingella kingae: osteoarticular infections of the sternum in children: a report of six cases

J Child Orthop. 2008 Dec;2(6):443-7. doi: 10.1007/s11832-008-0144-7. Epub 2008 Nov 18.


Purpose: Kingella kingae is increasingly recognized as a pathogen of osteoarticular infections (OAI) below the age of 2 years. It was reported that bones and joints which are rarely infected by other pathogens were frequently invaded by K. kingae. Based on a series of six cases, we present the typical clinical and paraclinical manifestation of K. kingae infections of the sternum and sterno-manubrial joint.

Methods: A review of the clinical, laboratory, radiological, microbiological, and molecular data of six consecutive children admitted to a paediatric unit for OAI of the sternum was done.

Results: Culture alone allowed for the detection of K. kingae as the responsible pathogen in three cases, molecular methods in the three other cases. Clinical and laboratory findings, as well as imaging methods, proved to be useful in the diagnostic process.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that infections of the lower sternum and the junction between the manubrium and the xyphoid process are typical, if not pathognomonic, for the organism. A respective diagnostic and therapeutic protocol was established.