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Elbow septic arthritis in an infant: an unusual presentation of invasive pneumococcal disease


Acute septic arthritis is a rare, potentially severe infection that requires immediate treatment to avoid long-term morbidity. Most common aetiological agents are commonly used for empirical treatment, but the choice of antibiotics may be influenced by other factors, such as the patient’s age and the epidemiological context.

We report an infant with elbow arthritis, whose treatment was changed after Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 9N was isolated in the blood and synovial fluid. The child underwent arthrocentesis and received intravenous ampicillin followed by oral amoxicillin, with a favourable response and no sequelae at 1-year follow-up.

We report an uncommon manifestation of invasive pneumococcal disease in a young immunised healthy infant caused by a non-vaccine serotype. The presence of S. pneumoniae should be considered in joint infections, especially in infants and those with a history of respiratory symptoms.

  • Infections
  • Paediatrics (drugs and medicines)
  • Bone and joint infections
  • Vaccination/immunisation

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