Elizabethkingia meningoseptica

Elizabethkingia meningoseptica is a Gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium named after its discoverer, microbiologist Elizabeth O. King. The pathogen was also previously classified as Flavobacterium and Chryseobacterium.

Elizabethkingia meningoseptica is responsible for an increasing number of nosocomial infections, which are affecting neonatal wards and dialysis patients in particular. The pathogen can cause the following, among others:

  • Meningitis

  • Pneumonia

  • Cholangitis (inflammation of the bile ducts)

  • Endocarditis (inflammation of the heart’s inner lining)

  • Sepsis

Elizabethkingia meningoseptica is widespread in nature, e.g., in soil or fresh and salt water. The pathogen has also been found in frogs and fish.

Relevance of pathogen in transmission in endoscopy

  • Gastroenterology: Not relevant

  • Pulmonology: Low

  • Ear, nose, and throat: Not relevant

  • Urology: Low

Relevance for endoscope surveillance

  • Low or moderate concern organism

Transmission route

The route of transmission is still largely unknown. Sources of infection include tap water, hospital devices, parenteral nutrition solutions, or contaminated venous catheters.

Resistance to antibiotics

Elizabethkingia meningoseptica is multi-resistant to antibiotics commonly used against Gram-negative pathogens, including beta-lactam agents. The pathogen produces two beta-lactamases:

  • ESBL (extended-spectrum beta-lactamases)

  • Class B carbapenem-hydrolyzing metallo-beta-lactamases

Elizabethkingia meningoseptica also shows resistance to aminoglycosides, tetracyclines, and chloramphinicol.

Sources and further readings

  1. Elisabethkingia, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/elizabethkingia/index.html. Accessed on 07.15.2021.

  2. Gries O, Ly T: Infektologie – Kompendium humanpathogener Infektionskrankheiten und Erreger, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2019.

  3. Gungor S. et al. Chryseobacterium meningosepticum outbreak in a neonatal ward, Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2003;24(8):613–617.

  4. Ratnamani MS/Rao R Elizabethkingia meningoseptica: emerging nosocomial pathogen in bedside hemodialysis patients, Indian J Crit Care Med. 2013;17(5):304–307.

  5. Zong Z Biliary tract infection or colonization with Elizabethkingia meningoseptica after endoscopic procedures involving the biliary tract, Intern Med 2015;54:11-5.