Infectious granulomatous dermatitis associated with Rothia mucilaginosa bacteremia: A case report

Am J Dermatopathol. 2010 Apr;32(2):175-9. doi: 10.1097/DAD.0b013e3181b1c5ad.


Infections with rare pathogens are being recognized with increasing frequency in severely immunocompromised patients. As a result of these patients' underlying compromised defenses and susceptibility to atypical organisms, tissue biopsies from patients within this population may demonstrate nonclassical histopathological findings. Here, we describe an unusual granulomatous reaction to gram-positive cocci in the skin of a 52-year-old man undergoing salvage chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia. The patient presented with a papular eruption on the arms, trunk, and face and fever; concomitant blood cultures were positive for Rothia mucilaginosa and Streptococcus salivarius. Histologic evaluation revealed a granulomatous dermatitis associated with numerous small, round, predominantly intracellular bacteria. Classically, cutaneous infiltrates associated with coccoid bacterial infections are suppurative and not granulomatous. The intracellular organisms stained positive for Gram, periodic acid-Schiff, and Grocott methenamine silver stains, suggestive of R. mucilaginosa. Rothia mucilaginosa, a component of the oral flora, was first reported as a human pathogen in 1978. Although the majority of cases in the literature have described R. mucilaginosa bacteremia, other reported manifestations include meningitis, endocarditis, pneumonia, osteomyelitis, and peritonitis. To our knowledge, however, only 1 prior report has described a cutaneous manifestation of R. mucilaginosa septicemia, which occurred in a patient with neutropenia. This is the second reported case of an infectious granulomatous dermatitis associated with R. mucilaginosa bacteremia and raises awareness of this unusual histopathological presentation in the setting of a bacterial infection affecting the skin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Actinomycetales Infections / complications
  • Actinomycetales Infections / microbiology
  • Bacteremia / complications*
  • Bacteremia / microbiology
  • Biopsy
  • Dermatitis / diagnosis*
  • Dermatitis / microbiology*
  • Drug Therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Micrococcaceae / pathogenicity*
  • Middle Aged
  • Opportunistic Infections / complications
  • Opportunistic Infections / microbiology
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Skin / pathology