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Clostridium septicum brain abscess
  1. Daryl Jian An Tan1,
  2. Edwin Chong Yu Sng2 and
  3. Xi Wern Ling1
  1. 1Department of Anaesthesia and Surgical Intensive Care, Changi General Hospital, Singapore
  2. 2Department of Infectious Diseases, Changi General Hospital, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to Dr Xi Wern Ling; Ling.Xi.Wern{at}


We present a previously well woman in her 70s who was admitted for 2 weeks of progressively worsening abdominal pain, high fever and drowsiness. She was eventually diagnosed with Clostridium septicum brain abscess, meningoencephalitis and ventriculitis. The diagnosis was challenging as cerebrospinal fluid cultures were negative and a microbiological diagnosis was only obtained on brain biopsy. Despite early initiation of antibiotics that would have been effective against C. septicum, her central nervous system (CNS) infection progressed, and she eventually succumbed to the infection. Infections with C. septicum are typically fulminant and associated with high mortality. In a patient with a CNS infection and concomitant abdominal manifestations, infection with C. septicum should be considered.

  • Hepatitis and other GI infections
  • Adult intensive care
  • Infection (neurology)
  • Colon cancer

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  • Contributors DJAT wrote the manuscript. ECYS and XWL verified the manuscript and edited it. The patient was under care of DJAT, ECYS and XWL. All the authors have approved the final 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.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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