Flavobacteriaceae Bacteremia in Children: A Multicenter Study

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2019 Nov;38(11):1096-1099. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000002449.


Background: The Flavobacteriaceae family includes rare pathogens in children; Chryseobacterium indologenes and Elizabethkingia meningosepticum are the most common pathogenic species, with a wide range of clinical presentations and high mortality rate. Although rare, diagnosis is important due to inherent resistance to multiple antibiotics, especially those typically prescribed for empiric treatment of aerobic Gram-negative bacterial infections.

Methods: A multicenter retrospective study conducted in 5 Israeli hospitals, describing Flavobacteriaceae bacteremia confirmed by positive blood culture from 1998 to 2018.

Results: Thirteen cases were included; 9 isolates were C. indologenes. Bacteremia was nosocomial or healthcare-associated in all cases. Bacteremia was associated with young age (median, 1 year, range 24 days-17 years), with only 2 (15.4%) cases in neonates, Central line-associated bloodstream infection as a source (5/13, 38%) and malignancy (7/13, 54.8%). Thirty-day all-cause mortality was 23% (3/13). Ninety-one percent of isolates were susceptible to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 82% to piperacillin-tazobactam and 92% to ciprofloxacin.

Conclusions: C. indologenes and E. meningosepticum are rare, nosocomial- or healthcare-associated pediatric bacteremia pathogens. Bacteremia was associated with young age, but in contrast to the literature, the majority of our cases were older than the neonatal age period. In addition, they were associated with central line-associated bloodstream infection and malignancy. The most adequate antibiotics according to resistance patterns were ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and piperacillin-tazobactam.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteremia / drug therapy
  • Bacteremia / microbiology*
  • Bacteremia / mortality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Female
  • Flavobacteriaceae / drug effects
  • Flavobacteriaceae Infections / diagnosis*
  • Flavobacteriaceae Infections / drug therapy
  • Flavobacteriaceae Infections / mortality
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tertiary Care Centers


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents