Meningitis in a patient with neutropenia due to Rothia mucilaginosa: a case report.

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Meningitis in a patient with neutropenia due to Rothia mucilaginosa: a case report.

J Med Case Rep. 2019 Mar 12;13(1):84

Authors: Clauwaert M, Druwé P, Depuydt P

BACKGROUND: Rothia mucilaginosa is a Gram-positive bacterium occurring as a commensal in the oral cavity and upper respiratory tract. Although rarely pathogenic in an immunocompetent host, it can cause severe opportunistic infections in immunocompromised individuals.
CASE PRESENTATION: A 67-year-old white woman had a routine blood analysis before undergoing knee surgery. The results showed leukopenia for which bone marrow examination was performed, showing an underlying acute myeloid leukemia. During the neutropenic phase after a second induction with cytarabine/idarubicin, she developed fever, headaches, and photophobia. Cultures of cerebrospinal fluid were positive for Rothia mucilaginosa. Despite full therapy with antibiotics, neurosurgical interventions, and intensive care support, our patient died due to refractory intracranial hypertension and transtentorial herniation.
CONCLUSIONS: Meningitis due to Rothia mucilaginosa is a rare but potentially lethal infection in patients with neutropenia, and evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of this disease are lacking. We suggest an empirical therapy with amoxicillin/rifampicin until adjustments can be made based on an antibiogram. Intrathecal or intraventricular administration of antibiotics can be considered if neurosurgical access is already obtained because of disease-associated complications.

PMID: 30857551 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]