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Serrating through vascular access catheters: a great masquerader with severe systemic manifestations
  1. Smit Sunil Deliwala1,
  2. Murtaza Hussain1,
  3. Anoosha Ponnapalli1,
  4. Dominic Awuah1,
  5. Philip McDonald2 and
  6. Ghassan Bachuwa1
  1. 1Internal Medicine, Hurley Medical Center, Flint, Michigan, USA
  2. 2Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Hurley Medical Center, Flint, Michigan, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ghassan Bachuwa; gbachuw2{at}


Serratia marcescens, time and again, has demonstrated its ability to easily adhere and infect vascular access catheters, making them a bona fide source of hospital outbreaks and contributing to adverse patient outcomes. We present a unique case of a severe recurrent Serratia infection, leading to persistent bacteria in the blood, haematogenous dissemination and subsequent development of abscesses, to a degree not reported in the literature before. These infections are exceedingly challenging to eradicate, owing to multiple virulence mechanisms and the deep seeding ability of this microorganism. Serratia infections require a multifaceted approach with intricacies in identification, therapeutics and surveillance, all of which are sparsely reported in the literature and reviewed in this report.

  • infection (gastroenterology)
  • general practice / family medicine
  • valvar diseases
  • nosocomial infections
  • infection control in hospital

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  • Contributors SSD: conception, design, draft and review. MH, AP and DA: acquisition, design, draft and review. PM: draft, review and interpretation. GB: draft and review.

  • 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 None declared.

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

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