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Salmonella typhimurium as a causative agent of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis
  1. Katherine Barry and
  2. Arkadiy Finn
  1. Division of Hospital Medicine, Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Arkadiy Finn; afinn1{at}


Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is a common complication of liver cirrhosis and abdominal ascites, usually caused by organisms from the Enterobacteriaceae family. A woman in her 40s with a history of alcoholic liver cirrhosis presented to the hospital with dyspnoea, abdominal distention and diffuse abdominal pain. She was found to have sepsis and abdominal ascites, with elevated ascitic fluid neutrophil counts consistent with SBP. Culture of ascitic fluid revealed Salmonella typhimurium. Further investigation revealed that the patient shared her home with a pet bearded dragon, a reptile known to carry Salmonella spp. She was treated with intravenous ceftriaxone and oral ciprofloxacin for a total of 14 days. S. typhimurium, likely transmitted to the patient from the pet reptile, is a rare pathogen in SBP and highlights the importance of environmental exposures in the management of this condition.

  • Infection (gastroenterology)
  • Cirrhosis
  • Infectious diseases

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  • Contributors AF and KB: writing of the original draft

  • 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.