Neuroinvasive Infection in Immunocompromised Hosts: Epidemiologic Investigation of 5 Patients With Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

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is a ubiquitous gram-positive rod-shaped bacterium that can cause sepsis and neuroinvasive disease in patients with acute leukemia or neutropenia.


A single-center retrospective review was conducted to evaluate patients with acute leukemia, positive blood or cerebrospinal fluid test results for , and abnormal neuroradiographic findings between January 2018 and October 2022. Infection control practices were observed, environmental samples obtained, a dietary case-control study completed, and whole genome sequencing performed on environmental and clinical isolates.


Five patients with neuroinvasive disease were identified. All patients had acute myeloid leukemia (AML), were receiving induction chemotherapy, and were neutropenic. Neurologic involvement included subarachnoid or intraparenchymal hemorrhage or brain abscess. All patients were treated with ciprofloxacin and survived with limited or no neurologic sequelae. was identified in 7 of 61 environmental samples and 1 of 19 dietary protein samples-these were unrelated to clinical isolates via sequencing. No point source was identified. Ciprofloxacin was added to the empiric antimicrobial regimen for patients with AML and prolonged or recurrent neutropenic fevers; no new cases were identified in the ensuing year.


is ubiquitous in the hospital environment, at times leading to clusters with unrelated isolates. Fastidious infection control practices addressing a range of possible exposures are warranted, but their efficacy is unknown and they may not be sufficient to prevent all infections. Thus, including coverage in empiric regimens for patients with AML and persistent neutropenic fever may limit the morbidity of this pathogen.

Open Forum Infect Dis
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Neuroinvasive Infection in Immunocompromised Hosts: Epidemiologic Investigation of 5 Patients With Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Little JS, Coughlin C, Hsieh C, Lanza M, Huang WY, Kumar A, Dandawate T, Tucker R, Gable P, Vazquez Deida AA, Moulton-Meissner H, Stevens V, McAllister G, Ewing T, Diaz M, Glowicz J, Winkler ML, Pecora N, Kubiak DW, Pearson JC, Luskin MR, Sherman AC, Woolley AE, Brandeburg C, Bolstorff B, McHale E, Fortes E, Doucette M, Smole S, Bunnell C, Gross A, Platt D, Desai S, Fiumara K, Issa NC, Baden LR, Rhee C, Klompas M, Baker MA