Case report of Actinomyces turicensis meningitis as a complication of purulent mastoiditis.

BMC Infect Dis 2018 Dec 20;18(1):686. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

Semmelweis University, Institute of Medical Microbiology, Budapest, Hungary.

Background: Central nervous system (CNS) infections caused by Actinomyces spp. including brain abscess, actinomycoma, subdural empyema and epidural abscess are well described, however reports of Actinomyces-associated meningitis are scarcely reported.

Case Report: We present the case of a 43-year-old Hungarian male patient with poor socioeconomic status who developed acute bacterial meningitis caused by Actinomyces turicensis originating from the left side mastoiditis. The bacterial cultures of both cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and purulent discharge collected during the mastoid surgery showed slow growing Gram-positive rods that were identified by automated systems (API, VITEK) as A. turicensis The bacterial identification was confirmed by 16S rRNA PCR and subsequent nucleic acid sequencing. No bacterial growth was detected in blood culture bottles after 5 days of incubation. Hence, multiple antibacterial treatments and surgical intervention the patient passed away.

Conclusions: Anaerobes are rarely involved in CNS infections therefore anaerobic culture of CSF samples is routinely not performed. However, anaerobic bacteria should be considered as potential pathogens when certain risk factors are present, such as paranasal sinusitis, mastoiditis in patients with poor socioeconomic condition. To the best of our knowledge, our case report is the first description of A. turicensis meningitis that has been diagnosed as consequence of purulent mastoiditis.

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