Sphingobacterium Thalpophilum Bacteraemia: A Case Report


North Florida


Osceola Regional Medical Center

Document Type

Case Report

Publication Date



bacteremia, cellulitis, gram-negative bacteria, sphingobacterium


Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Infectious Disease | Internal Medicine | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases


A Gram-negative rod was isolated from the blood cultures of an immunocompetent patient with right lower extremity cellulitis. The microbiology lab identified the bacterium as “Sphingobacterium Thalpophilum,” a very rare microorganism from Sphingobacterium genus that can cause human infection. High sphingophospholipids in the cell membrane, is the characterization of these bacteria. Only a few species have been reported to cause infections in humans, including S. mizutae, S. multivorum, and S. spiritorum. We treated our patient based on prior published case reports and literature. He received piperacillin-tazobactam for 5 days that resulted in the improvement of the patient’s symptoms. This is the first reported case of human S. thalpophilum infection in the United States. Although infection with this genus is rare but literature have shown they can be fatal, specifically in immunosuppressed population.

Publisher or Conference

The Internet Journal of Infectious Diseases