Introduction: Helicobacter fennelliae is an enterohepatic Helicobacter species causing bacteraemia in immunocompromised hosts. Only a few cases of recurrent H. fennelliae bacteraemia have been reported in Japan and there are no guidelines regarding antimicrobial treatment for H. fennelliae infection.
Case presentation: H. fennelliae bacteraemia was observed in a patient receiving platinum-based chemotherapy for lung cancer. To prevent recurrence, the patient received antibiotic therapy with cefepime, amoxicillin and doxycycline for 6 weeks, which is similar to the therapy for Helicobactercinaedi bacteraemia. Bacteraemia recurred despite the long-term antibiotic therapy. We hypothesized that the H. fennelliae bacteraemia originated from endogenous infection in the intestinal tract due to the long-term damage of the enteric mucosa by platinum-based drugs and performed selective digestive decontamination (SDD) with kanamycin. Bacteraemia did not recur after SDD.
Conclusion: Our observations indicate that clinicians should be aware of possible recurrent H. fennelliae bacteraemia, which could be effectively prevented by SDD with kanamycin.
Keywords: Helicobacter fennelliae; recurrent bacteremia, lung cancer, chemotherapy; selective digestive decontamination, kanamycin.