Background: Arthrobacter-like organisms, including Pseudoclavibacter organisms, have rarely been documented as being responsible for infection in humans.
Case presentation: An 81-year-old French man developed a subcutaneous infection despite antibiotic treatment combining clindamycin and metronidazole for chronic wound infection. A skin biopsy showed numerous polymorphonuclear cells and no bacteria, but a subcutaneous swab yielded numerous polymorphonuclear cells, a few Gram-positive cocci, Gram-negative cocci, and Gram-positive rods. The Gram-positive rod sequence exhibited 99% sequence similarity with uncultured Pseudoclavibacter sp. [GenBank:EF419350] and 99% sequence similarity with uncultured Pseudoclavibacter sp. [GenBank:EF419347]. The genetic data and unique peptide profile of this Pseudoclavibacter-like isolate, determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry, underscored its uniqueness.
Conclusions: Pseudoclavibacter-like organisms are identifiable in cutaneous and subcutaneous infections in humans.