Clinical syndromes associated with adult pneumococcal cellulitis

J. P. Parada, J. N. Maslow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Streptococcus pneumoniae is an uncommonly recognized etiology of cellulitis in adults. A review of the literature uncovered 30 cases of pneumococcal skin infection in adults. Typically, all patients with pneumococcal cellulitis had an underlying chronic illness, or were immunocompromised by drug or alcohol abuse. Pneumococcal cellulitis presents as two distinctive clinical syndromes: one with extremity involvement in individuals with diabetes and substance abuse; and a second involving the head, neck and upper torso in individuals with systemic lupus erythematosis, nephrotic syndrome and hematologic disorders. For each there are statistically significant associations between the location of pneumococcal cellulitis and underlying clinical disorders. In contrast to other common bacterial etiologies, pneumococcal cellulitis is frequently associated with blood stream invasion, tissue necrosis and supporative complications. Patients often require surgical interventions and prolonged hospitalizations. A high degree of suspicion and early aggressive management is needed for those presenting with cellulitis characterized by bullae and violaceous color.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-136
Number of pages4
JournalScandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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