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Bacteraemia and multiple liver abscesses due to Fusobacterium nucleatum in a patient with oropharyngeal malignancy
  1. Rafael Garcia-Carretero
  1. Internal Medicine, Hospital Universitario de Mostoles, Mostoles, Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rafael Garcia-Carretero, rgcarretero{at}


Fusobacterium infections can have a wide clinical spectrum, ranging from mild infections to severe sepsis and abscess formation. This range depends partly on the patient’s underlying conditions, such as immunosuppression or malignancy. Fusobacteria are commensal rods in the oropharyngeal cavity and digestive tract, but should mucosal barrier disruption occur, in the presence of the above-mentioned predisposing conditions, fusobacteria can spread and cause infections in the soft tissues, liver and so on. An elderly woman was admitted with an altered level of consciousness (lethargy). The ensuing workup revealed a posterior oral cavity tumour (squamous cell carcinoma), Fusobacterium nucleatum bacteraemia and liver abscesses. Due to the severe sepsis, the patient was referred to our intensive care unit, but she passed away despite antibiotic treatment.

  • infectious diseases
  • intensive care
  • medical management

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  • Contributors RGC wrote the first draft, edited the CT slides and revised the whole manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests Not required.

  • Patient consent Parental/guardian consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.