Persistent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia in an adult patient with Netherton's syndrome: A case report

J Infect Chemother. 2022 Jul;28(7):978-981. doi: 10.1016/j.jiac.2022.02.021. Epub 2022 Mar 8.


Netherton's syndrome, a rare congenital disorder, is clinically characterized by chronic dermatologic disorders such as ichthyosiform erythroderma and ichthyosis linearis circumflexa. Curable treatment is yet to be established, and corticosteroid ointment is required to maintain good dermatological condition. Because of the permanent skin barrier impairment, patients with Netherton's syndrome are considered to be vulnerable to cutaneous infections. However, its clinical characteristics are yet to be elucidated due to the limited number of reported cases. Herein, we describe the clinical course of a patient who developed persistent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia. A 19-year-old Japanese woman who had been diagnosed with Netherton's syndrome in her infancy and had been applying topical corticosteroid agents all over her body since her then, was referred to our hospital because of persistent MRSA bacteremia and secondary adrenal insufficiency. The patient was diagnosed with a central line-associated bloodstream infection and was appropriately treated with antibiotics and corticosteroid therapies. We assume that the damaged skin barrier due to the congenital dermatological disorder causes a disruption in the normal bacterial flora of the skin, leading to the invasion of harmful bacteria, such as S. aureus. In addition, internal (humoral immunodeficiency by decreased antibody against bacterial polysaccharide antigens) and external (prolonged and systemic use of corticosteroid ointment) factors bring about an immunodeficiency state in such patients. We highlight that in the absence of radical treatment, clinicians need to recognize that patients with Netherton's syndrome are vulnerable to bacterial infections owing to the mixture of immunosuppressive factors.

Keywords: Bacteremia; Central line associated bloodstream infection; Corticosteroid; MRSA; Netherton's syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bacteremia* / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus*
  • Ointments
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Syndrome
  • Young Adult


  • Ointments