Jump to navigation Jump to search

WikiDoc Resources for Erysipeloid


Most recent articles on Erysipeloid

Most cited articles on Erysipeloid

Review articles on Erysipeloid

Articles on Erysipeloid in N Eng J Med, Lancet, BMJ


Powerpoint slides on Erysipeloid

Images of Erysipeloid

Photos of Erysipeloid

Podcasts & MP3s on Erysipeloid

Videos on Erysipeloid

Evidence Based Medicine

Cochrane Collaboration on Erysipeloid

Bandolier on Erysipeloid

TRIP on Erysipeloid

Clinical Trials

Ongoing Trials on Erysipeloid at Clinical

Trial results on Erysipeloid

Clinical Trials on Erysipeloid at Google

Guidelines / Policies / Govt

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on Erysipeloid

NICE Guidance on Erysipeloid


FDA on Erysipeloid

CDC on Erysipeloid


Books on Erysipeloid


Erysipeloid in the news

Be alerted to news on Erysipeloid

News trends on Erysipeloid


Blogs on Erysipeloid


Definitions of Erysipeloid

Patient Resources / Community

Patient resources on Erysipeloid

Discussion groups on Erysipeloid

Patient Handouts on Erysipeloid

Directions to Hospitals Treating Erysipeloid

Risk calculators and risk factors for Erysipeloid

Healthcare Provider Resources

Symptoms of Erysipeloid

Causes & Risk Factors for Erysipeloid

Diagnostic studies for Erysipeloid

Treatment of Erysipeloid

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

CME Programs on Erysipeloid


Erysipeloid en Espanol

Erysipeloid en Francais


Erysipeloid in the Marketplace

Patents on Erysipeloid

Experimental / Informatics

List of terms related to Erysipeloid

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Prince Tano Djan, BSc, MBChB [2], Faizan Sheraz, M.D. [3]

Synonyms and Keywords: Erysipelotrichosis, Rose fish-handlers disease, Rosenbach's disease, Rosenbach's Erysipeloid or Erysipeloid of Rosenbach

Diseases of Swine 31-1.png
Cellular and colonial morphology of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae
ICD-10 A26
ICD-9 027.1
DiseasesDB 4432
MedlinePlus 000632
eMedicine derm/602 
MeSH D004887


Erysipeloid is an occupational infection resulting from introduction of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae (formerly E. insidiosa) into a traumatized patch of skin. Clinically, the disease is observed as erythematous edema, with well-defined and raised borders. Lesions are mostly localized to the back of the hand. Vesicular, bullous, and erosive lesions may also be present. The lesions are usually asymptomatic and occasionally associated with pain, fever, and mild pruritus. In addition to cutaneous infection, E. rhusiopathiae may be complicated by acute or subacute endocarditis. Endocarditis is rare and has a male predilection. It usually occurs in previously damaged valves, predominantly the aortic valve. Endocarditis does not occur in patients with valvular prostheses and is not associated with intravenous drug misuse. Eysipeloid is a clinical diagnosis. Affected patients usually present with a history of occupational exposure to unprocessed fish[1] or meat with characteristic cutaneous lesions.[2][3] It typically gains entry through abrasions in the hand. Bacteremia and endocarditis are uncommon but serious complications.[4][5] Erysipeloid is frequently misidentified due to the rarity of reported cases.[2]

Historical Perspective

  • In 1884, Friedrich Julius Rosenbach (also called Anton Julius Friedrich Rosenbach), a German physician and microbiologist, was the first to accurately describe the association between Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae and the development of erysipeloid.
  • Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae was first isolated from mice in 1880 by Robert Koch. [6][7]


Erysipeloid may be classified into the following categories according to the severity of the condition:[7]

Localized cutaneous erysipeloid

  • Usually a mild, localized infection
  • Patients present with localized swelling and redness of the skin
  • Commonly referred to as "erysipeloid of Rosenbach"

Diffuse cutaneous erysipeloid

  • Patients may present with fever

Generalized or systemic erysipeloid



Erysipeloid results from an infection with Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae after an area of skin containing an abrasion comes into contact with contaminated fish, poultry, or raw meat.[8] The organism is known for its high environmental resistance.[7] Various virulence factors have been implicated in the pathogenicity of erysipeloid. Following infection in the skin, the organism produces certain enzymes that help it dissect its way through the tissues. Significant among them are hyaluronidase and neuraminidase.[8] Neuraminidase has been shown to play vital role in the attachment of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. This subsequently aids in the invasion of host cells. The role of hyaluronidase in the disease process is not well understood. The presence of a heat labile capsule has been reported as being important in virulence.[8]. At the same time, the patient's immune response is activated to fight against the organism. Failure of the immune surveillance leads to systemic dissemination of the bacteria to the heart, brain, kidney, vascular system, joints, central nervous system, and lungs. The heart is the most commonly affected systemic organ.

Associated conditions

The following conditions are associated with erysipeloid:[8][9][10][11][12][13]


Erysipeloid is caused by an infection with Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, a Gram-positive rod bacteria. Infection with Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae commonly results from contact between skin containing abrasions or lesions and contaminated fish, poultry, or raw meat. [7][8][10][11]

Differentiating Erysipeloid from Other Diseases

Erysipeloid must be differentiated from the following conditions:

Epidemiology and Demographics

Infection with E. rhusiopathiae occurs worldwide in a variety of animals, including sheep, rabbits, turkeys, birds, cattle, rats, and fish.[6]


No racial predilection is recognized for erysipeloid.


Males are more commonly affected with erysipeloid than females because of the relative frequency of occupational exposure.


Erysipeloid can affect any age group.

Risk Factors

Erysipeloid is most common among individuals who have direct contact with infected animals. People in the following occupations are at the highest risk for contracting the condition:[6]

  • Fishermen
  • Farmers
  • Slaughterhouse workers
  • Butchers
  • Meat handlers
  • Agricultural workers

Erysipeloid is observed most frequently during the summer and early fall.[7]


There is no established screening modality for erysipeloid.[6]

Natural History, Complications, and Prognosis

Cutaneous forms of the disease usually resolve spontaneously.[11] The prognosis is excellent with appropriate antibiotics. Inadequate treatment can lead to complications such as endocarditis or arthritis. Antibiotic-resistant strains will complicate therapy. Repeated infection may result in the development of allergies. Reduced immunity may complicate the infection. Individuals with the severe, systemic form of erysipeloid may suffer irreversible neurological damage. Endocarditis may result in long-term valvular heart disease. Septic arthritis may result in long-term joint disease.


History and Symptoms

Patients with erysipeloid usually present with a history of occupational exposure to unprocessed fish or meat.

Symptoms may include:[14]

  • skin irritation
  • localized burning sensation
  • itching
  • pain

Patients with systemic infections may present with:[15]

Physical Examination

Physical examination of patients with erysipeloid is usually remarkable for lesions with the following features:[6][16][14][15][17]

  1. purplish-red rash with associated burning and itching
  2. crusted formation
  3. erythematous edema or infiltrative plaque with raised borders
  4. localized tenderness
  5. joint lesions may manifest as tenosynovitis
  6. individuals with endocarditis may have a heart murmur noted on examination

Laboratory Findings

Laboratory investigations are usually not needed to diagnose erysipeloid since the diagnosis is mostly clinical.[14]

Imaging Findings

CT scans may be helpful in the diagnosis of erysipeloid endocarditis. A CT scan may show vegetations, paravalvular abscesses, and/or pseudoaneurysms.


Medical Therapy

The treatment of choice is intramuscular benzathine benzylpenicillin, oral penicillin, or intramuscular procaine benzylpenicillin.[11][7][18] Patients who are allergic to penicillin may be treated with erythromycin or doxycycline.[18]

Antimicrobial Regimen

  • Preferred regimen (1): Penicillin 500 mg qid for 7–10 days
  • Preferred regimen (2): Amoxicillin 500 mg tid for 7–10 days
  • Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae [19]
  • 1. Erysipeloid of Rosenbach (localized cutaneous infection)
  • 2. Diffuse cutaneous infection
  • Preferred regimen: See localized infection
  • 3. Bacteremia or endocarditis
  • Preferred regimen: Penicillin G benzathine 2-4 MU IV q4h for 4-6 weeks
  • Alternative regimen (1): Ceftriaxone 2 g IV q24h for 4-6 weeks
  • Alternative regimen (2): Imipenem 500 mg IV q6h for 4-6 weeks
  • Alternative regimen (3): Ciprofloxacin 400 mg IV q12h for 4-6 weeks
  • Alternative regimen (4): Daptomycin 6 mg/kg IV q24h for 4-6 weeks
  • Note: Recommended duration of therapy for endocarditis is 4 to 6 weeks, although shorter courses consisting of 2 weeks of intravenous therapy followed by 2 to 4 weeks of oral therapy have been successful.


Surgery is usually not necessary for the management of erysipeloid. However, in rare cases with massive valvular destruction complicating endocarditis, surgical valvular replacement may be needed.[20]


Primary prevention

Effective measures for the primary prevention of erysipeloid include:[6]

  • Individuals whose work involves handling raw meat, fishing, and/or agricultural jobs should wear protective gloves when possible to avoid infection with contaminated food.
  • Restriction of food-handling in people diagnosed with erysipeloid.

Secondary Prevention

There are no established methods of secondary prevention for erysipeloid.

See also


  1. Lehane L, Rawlin G (2000). "Topically acquired bacterial zoonoses from fish: a review". Med J Aust. 173 (5): 256–9. PMID 11130351.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Brooke C, Riley T (1999). "Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae: bacteriology, epidemiology and clinical manifestations of an occupational pathogen". J Med Microbiol. 48 (9): 789–99. doi:10.1099/00222615-48-9-789. PMID 10482289.
  4. Brouqui P, Raoult D (2001). "Endocarditis due to rare and fastidious bacteria". Clin Microbiol Rev. 14 (1): 177–207. doi:10.1128/CMR.14.1.177-207.2001. PMC 88969. PMID 11148009.
  5. Nassar I, de la Llana R, Garrido P, Martinez-Sanz R (2005). "Mitro-aortic infective endocarditis produced by Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae: case report and review of the literature". J Heart Valve Dis. 14 (3): 320–4. PMID 15974525.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Mandell, Gerald (1985). principles and practice of infectious diseases. New York: John Wiley & sons. p. 1185. ISBN 0-471-87643-7.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Brooke CJ, Riley TV (1999). "Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae: bacteriology, epidemiology and clinical manifestations of an occupational pathogen". J Med Microbiol. 48 (9): 789–99. doi:10.1099/00222615-48-9-789. PMID 10482289.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Wang Q, Chang BJ, Riley TV (2010). "Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae". Vet Microbiol. 140 (3–4): 405–17. doi:10.1016/j.vetmic.2009.08.012. PMID 19733019.
  9. Foster JD, Hartmann FA, Moriello KA (2012). "A case of apparent canine erysipeloid associated with Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae bacteraemia". Vet Dermatol. 23 (6): 528-e108. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3164.2012.01115.x. PMID 23140319.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Dunbar SA, Clarridge JE (2000). "Potential errors in recognition of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae". J Clin Microbiol. 38 (3): 1302–4. PMC 88613. PMID 10699048.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Boyd AS, Ritchie C, Fenton JS (2014). "Cutaneous Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae (erysipeloid) infection in an immunocompromised child". Pediatr Dermatol. 31 (2): 232–5. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1470.2012.01835.x. PMID 22957967.
  12. Mazellier S, Hubiche T, Weinbreck N, Gutnecht J, Del Giudice P (2014). "Erysipeloid Hodgkin lymphoma". Eur J Dermatol. 24 (4): 513–4. doi:10.1684/ejd.2014.2392. PMID 25118689.
  13. Chaabane H, Amouri M, Meziou TJ, Dammak A, Bouassida S, Boudawara T; et al. (2014). "[Sweet's syndrome: a rare cause of erysipeloid dermatitis]". Tunis Med. 92 (10): 649–50. PMID 25860686.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Veraldi S, Girgenti V, Dassoni F, Gianotti R (2009). "Erysipeloid: a review". Clin Exp Dermatol. 34 (8): 859–62. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2230.2009.03444.x. PMID 19663854.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Veraldi S, Girgenti V, Gianotti R (2009). "Erysipeloid". Clin Exp Dermatol. 34 (8): e605–7. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2230.2009.03292.x. PMID 19486064.
  16. Mnejja M, Hammami B, Chakroun A, Achour I, Charfeddine I, Chakroun A; et al. (2011). "Unusual form of cutaneous leishmaniasis: erysipeloid form". Eur Ann Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Dis. 128 (2): 95–7. doi:10.1016/j.anorl.2010.09.008. PMID 21251895.
  17. Tolis K, Spyridonos S, Tsiplakou S, Fandridis E (2015). "Tenosynovitis of a digit due to Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae: case report and review of the literature". New Microbes New Infect. 8: 128–30. doi:10.1016/j.nmni.2015.10.007. PMC 4659811. PMID 26693283.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Vinetz J (October 4, 2007). "Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae". Point-of-Care Information Technology ABX Guide. Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved on October 28, 2008. Freely available with registration.
  19. Bartlett, John (2012). Johns Hopkins ABX guide : diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning. ISBN 978-1449625580.
  20. Rocha MP, Fontoura PR, Azevedo SN, Fontoura AM (1989). "Erysipelothrix endocarditis with previous cutaneous lesion: report of a case and review of the literature". Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 31 (4): 286–9. PMID 2697071.

Template:Cutaneous infections

Template:WS Template:WH