Clinical Presentation and Bacteriologic Analysis of Infected Human Bites in Patients Presenting to Emergency Departments

Talan, David A.; Abrahamian, Fredrick M.; Moran, Gregory J.; Citron, Diane M.; Tan, Jonah O.; Goldstein, Ellie J. C.
December 2003
Clinical Infectious Diseases;12/1/2003, Vol. 37 Issue 11, p1481
Academic Journal
Previous studies of infected human bites have been limited by small numbers of patients and suboptimal microbiologic methodology. We conducted a multicenter prospective study of 50 patients with infected human bites. Seventy percent of the patients and assailants were young adult men. Fifty-six percent of injuries were clenched-fist injuries and 44% were occlusional bites. Most injuries were to the hands. Fifty-four percent of patients were hospitalized. The median number of isolates per wound culture was 4 (3 aerobes and 1 anaerobe); aerobes and anaerobes were isolated from 54% of wounds, aerobes alone were isolated from 44%, and anaerobes alone were isolated from 2%. Isolates included Streptococcus anginosus (52%), Staphylococcus aureus (30%), Eikenella corrodens (30%), Fusobacterium nucleatum (32%), and Prevotella melaninogenica (22%). Candida species were found in 8%. Fusobacterium, Peptostreptococcus, and Candida species were isolated more frequently from occlusional bites than from clenched-fist injuries. Many strains of Prevotella and S. aureus were β-lactamase producers. Amoxicillin–clavulanic acid and moxifloxacin demonstrated excellent in vitro activity against common isolates.


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