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Volume 40, Number 3, June 2007

Chromobacterium violaceum infection in Taiwan: a case report and literature review

Choon-Yuk Chang, Yuan-Ti Lee, Ken-Sen Liu, Ya-Li Wang, Shih-Ming Tsao
Division of Infections, Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Clinical Laboratory, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

Received: January 11, 2006    Revised: August 29, 2006    Accepted: August 19, 2006   


Corresponding author:

Dr. Shih-Ming Tsao, MD, Division of Infections, Department of Internal Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, No. 110, Sec. 1, Chien-Kuo N. Rd., Taichung City, Taiwan. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it




Chromobacterium violaceumis a facultative anaerobic, Gram-negative bacillus which inhabits stagnant water in tropical and subtropical regions. We describe the case of an 80-year-old female patient with C. violaceum bacteremia due to traumatic wound infected by contaminated water and soil. She had persistent fever, hypotension and neutrophilic leukocytosis on admission. Two sets of blood cultures yielded C. violaceum. The patient was successfully treated with levofloxacin. Since the first case from Malaysia in 1927, about 150 cases have been reported in the world literature. To our knowledge, six other cases have been reported previously from Taiwan, including two children and four adults. Of the total of seven patients from Taiwan, four had a fatal outcome within several days, while the three survivors were apparently free of vital organ involvement. Although human infections caused by C. violaceum are rare, clinicians should be aware of this potentially fatal infection as part of the differential diagnosis of sepsis associated with a history of exposure to stagnant water.



Key words:

Bacteremia; Cellulitis; Chromobacterium; Taiwan



J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2007;40:272-275.