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Propionibacterium acnes causing non-contiguous, multifocal spondylodiscitis in an immunosuppressed patient


This report describes a case of a spondylodiscitis in an immunocompromised patient with an HIV infection caused by Propionibacterium acnes. The patient was admitted to hospital with a sudden loss of motor function and sensation in both of the patient’s legs. A biopsy taken during the first debridement operation proved to be negative for Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA and growth, but was positive for the growth of P. acnes. Following a course of antibiotic therapy and the aforementioned debridement, the patient was moved to a specialised clinic for physical therapy. The patient’s condition quickly deteriorated, and the patient once again required extensive debridement. Repeated spinal surgery, antibiotics for 12 weeks and subsequent rehabilitation resulted in almost complete recovery of sensorimotor limb function.

  • infections
  • bone and joint infections
  • infection (neurology)
  • spinal cord

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