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An unusual case of multiple hepatic and pulmonary abscesses caused by Aggregatibacter aphrophilus in a young man: a case report

Journal Paper/Review - Feb 4, 2021

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Citation
Sumer J, Haller S, Sawatzki M, Kellner J, Boggian K. An unusual case of multiple hepatic and pulmonary abscesses caused by Aggregatibacter aphrophilus in a young man: a case report. J Med Case Rep 2021; 15:34.
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Journal Paper/Review (English)
Journal
J Med Case Rep 2021; 15
Publication Date
Feb 4, 2021
Issn Print
Issn Electronic
1752-1947
Pages
34
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Brief description/objective

BACKGROUND
Aggregatibacter aphrophilus, formerly known as Haemophilus aphrophilus, belongs to the HACEK organisms, a group of pathogens classically associated with infectious endocarditis. A. aphrophilus is a rarely found pathogen, though abscess formation in various organs has been described, typically due to spread from an infected heart valve. Here we describe the unusual case of multiple hepatic abscesses caused by A. aphrophilus.

CASE PRESENTATION
A 33-year-old Caucasian man presented at our hospital with fever and malaise, elevated inflammatory markers, and liver enzymes. Imaging was compatible with multiple liver and pulmonary abscesses, without evidence of endocarditis. Cultures of blood and liver abscess material remained without growth. Polymerase chain reaction finally revealed Aggregatibacter aphrophilus in the liver tissue. The patient recovered fully within 6 weeks of doxycycline treatment.

CONCLUSIONS
There are only a few case descriptions of liver abscesses caused by A. aphrophilus. As a ubiquitous organism in the gastrointestinal tract, A. aphrophilus may reach the liver via the portal venous system, as well as through hematogenous spread from the oropharynx. HACEK organisms are notoriously difficult to grow on culture, which highlights the diagnostic importance of eubacterial PCR.