Recurrent bacteremia caused by a 'Flexispira'-like organism in a patient with X-linked (Bruton's) agammaglobulinemia

Susan Weir, Brenda Cuccherini, Anne M. Whitney, Marsha L. Ray, John P. MacGregor, Arnold Steigerwalt, Maryam I. Daneshvar, Robbin Weyant, Betty Wray, John Steele, Warren Strober, Vee J. Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Helicobacter spp., except for Helicobacter cinaedi, have only rarely been reported in cases of septicemia. A patient with X-linked (Bruton's) agammaglobulinemia was found to have persistent sepsis with a Helicobacter- like organism despite multiple courses of antibiotics. His periods of sepsis were associated with leg swelling thought to be consistent with cellulitis. The organism was fastidious and required a microaerophilic environment containing H2 for growth. Optimal growth was observed at 35 to 37°C on sheep blood, CDC anaerobe, and Bordet-Gengou agars. Serial subcultures every 4 to 5 days were required to maintain viability. The organism was strongly urease positive and showed highest relatedness to Helicobacter-like organisms with the vernacular name 'Flexispira rappini' by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Genomic DNA hybridization studies, however, found 24 to 37% relatedness to 'F. rappini' and even less to other Helicobacter spp. Although the organism phenotypically resembles 'Flexispira' and Helicobacter, it is thought to represent a new taxon. The patient's infection was eventually cleared with a prolonged (5-month) course of intravenous imipenem and gentamicin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2439-2445
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Recurrent bacteremia caused by a 'Flexispira'-like organism in a patient with X-linked (Bruton's) agammaglobulinemia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this