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Serratia Infection

Infections Serratia

Serratia spp. is a group of gram negative bacteria, categorized under the wider group of Enterobacteriaceae. A Serratia infection is an infection caused by this bacterial species, that can affect almost every system in humans, including the urinary tract, respiratory tract, meninges, wounds, heart and abdomen.


Due to the fact that bacteria belonging to the Serratia spp. class can affect a multitude of organs, a Serratia infection can lead to symptoms that vary and are categorized depending on the affected system.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are amongst the most common types of infection caused, and patients usually present with symptoms typically expected in a UTI. These include dysuria, fever, hematuria and abnormally frequent urination. Prior instrumentation of the urinary tract or surgical procedures are reported in up to 50% of the patients diagnosed with a Serratia urinary tract infection; patients suffering from diabetes mellitus or renal failure are at a greater risk of developing such an infection.

Infections of the respiratory tract can also be caused by a bacterium of the Serratia species, especially in patients affected by chronic pulmonary conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The infection may progress to pneumonia, although this is an uncommon occurrence. Typical symptoms of pneumonia include thoracic pain, cough, fever, hypotension, dyspnea and pseudo hemoptysis [1] [2].

Serratia spp can also cause cerebral abscesses or meningitis. Underlying conditions such as sepsis in neonates and children and open trauma, as well as invasive procedures (neurosurgery, lumbar puncture), increase the risk for such a central nervous system infection [3]. Symptoms elicited by a Serratia meningitis encompass lethargy, cephalalgia, vomiting, a decreased level of consciousness, and even coma.

Serratia can also be responsible for infections of the abdominal cavity, such as abdominal abscesses or peritonitis. Fever, malaise, abdominal discomfort or pain are the symptoms expected in the case of an intra-abdominal infection; peritonitis should be suspected in patients presenting with severe abdominal pain, high fever, and chills. Peritoneal dialysis may be complicated by peritonitis caused by Serratia bacterium [4].

Intravenous drug use, intra-articular injections, open trauma or surgery can lead to osteomyelitis and arthritis due to a Serratia colonization. Osteomyelitis induces symptoms such as pain, edema, and erythema in the affected region, fever, and chills, whereas arthritis leads to painful and inflamed joints. Chronic granulomatous disease in infants is frequently complicated by osteomyelitis due to Serratia [5].

Finally, Serratia spp. may be responsible for various other types of human infections. Patients may present with otalgia and otorrhea due to otitis media; with fever, respiratory compromise, hypotension and, in a comatose state in generalized sepsis. Soft tissues are also susceptible to Serratia infections and patients may present with infected scars, phlebitis, and cellulitis. Women who breastfeed may report their breastmilk turning pink, which is a typical symptom of Serratia postpartum mastitis [6] [7].

Cat Scratch
  • […] granulocytic anaplasmosis , Anaplasmosis Ehrlichia chaffeensis Human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis Ehrlichia ewingii Ehrlichiosis ewingii infection Rhizobiales Brucellaceae Brucella abortus Brucellosis Bartonellaceae Bartonellosis : Bartonella henselae Cat-scratch[en.wikipedia.org]
  • Ehrlichia ewingii Ehrlichiosis ewingii infection Rhizobiales Brucellaceae Brucella abortus Brucellosis Bartonellaceae Bartonellosis : Bartonella henselae Cat-scratch disease Bartonella quintana Trench fever Either B. henselae or B. quintana Bacillary angiomatosis[en.wikipedia.org]
Guillain-Barré Syndrome
  • Acinetobacter baumannii Xanthomonadaceae Stenotrophomonas maltophilia Cardiobacteriaceae Cardiobacterium hominis HACEK Aeromonadales Aeromonas hydrophila / Aeromonas veronii Aeromonas infection ε Campylobacterales Campylobacter jejuni Campylobacteriosis , GuillainBarré[en.wikipedia.org]


Given that the clinical presentation of a Serratia infection is extremely variable, the workup involved is non-specific and guided by the particular symptoms with which each patient presents.

Generally, blood samples should be taken and a complete blood count is expected to illustrate leucocytosis with distinctive neutrophilia, anemia and more than 10% of immature neutrophils. Leukopenia can be observed but is a rather uncommon laboratory result. A complete biochemical profile should also be carried out, in order to evaluate creatinine, glucose, urea and electrolyte levels.

A culture and antibiogram are mandatory in order to accurately diagnose a Serratia infection. The most common bacterial subtype isolated is S. marcenscens [8]. Blood, fluid from effusions, abscesses, catheters or IV fluids that are potentially contaminated all constitute good samples for a culture.

If meningitis is suspected, a lumbar puncture should be performed. A cerebrospinal fluid analysis will reveal pleocytosis of a polynuclear morphology, low glucose, and high protein levels. Respiratory infections are primarily investigated with a chest radiograph. An ultrasonographic (US) or computerized tomography (CT) scan can be used to detect possible intra-abdominal abscesses and echocardiography can be employed to detect valvular abnormalities consistent with endocarditis.

Rickettsia Rickettsii
  • rickettsii Rocky Mountain spotted fever Rickettsia conorii Boutonneuse fever Rickettsia japonica Japanese spotted fever Rickettsia sibirica North Asian tick typhus Rickettsia australis Queensland tick typhus Rickettsia honei Flinders Island spotted fever[en.wikipedia.org]
Rickettsia Conorii
  • Rickettsiales Rickettsiaceae / ( Rickettsioses ) Typhus Rickettsia typhi Murine typhus Rickettsia prowazekii Epidemic typhus , Brill–Zinsser disease , Flying squirrel typhus Spotted fever Tick-borne Rickettsia rickettsii Rocky Mountain spotted fever Rickettsia[en.wikipedia.org]
Rickettsia Akari
  • akari Rickettsialpox Orientia tsutsugamushi Scrub typhus Flea-borne Rickettsia felis Flea-borne spotted fever Anaplasmataceae Ehrlichiosis : Anaplasma phagocytophilum Human granulocytic anaplasmosis , Anaplasmosis Ehrlichia chaffeensis Human monocytotropic[en.wikipedia.org]
Bartonella Quintana
  • quintana Trench fever Either B. henselae or B. quintana Bacillary angiomatosis Bartonella bacilliformis Carrion's disease , Verruga peruana β Neisseriales M Neisseria meningitidis/meningococcus Meningococcal disease , Waterhouse–Friderichsen syndrome[en.wikipedia.org]
Rickettsia Typhi
  • It can cause nosocomial infections . [1] References [ edit ] v t e Infectious diseases Bacterial disease : Proteobacterial G primarily A00–A79 , 001–041, 080–109 α Rickettsiales Rickettsiaceae / ( Rickettsioses ) Typhus Rickettsia typhi Murine typhus[en.wikipedia.org]
  • It can cause nosocomial infections . [1] References Infectious diseases Bacterial disease : Proteobacterial G primarily A00–A79 , 001–041, 080–109 α Rickettsiales Rickettsiaceae / ( Rickettsioses ) Typhus Rickettsia typhi Murine typhus Rickettsia prowazekii[ipfs.io]


  • The patient also had uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and iron deficiency anemia, which altered her response to surgical treatment.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • The patient had taken antitubercular treatment for three months in 1995, then again for one month in 1997. He had also undergone bronchoscopy in 1997. The patient was non-smoker.[ijmm.org]
  • An appropriate antimicrobial treatment attained clinical and microbiological cure in all cases, in absence of related mortality or relapses.[link.springer.com]
  • Serratia species may sometimes harbor multidrug-resistance mechanisms that can complicate treatment. Radiographic features Plain film - CT A number of radiographic patterns have been described.[radiopaedia.org]
  • Infection most often occurs in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, commonly among sick patients who are receiving treatment for other conditions.[digjamaica.com]


  • Piocianicul este deosebit de patogen la tropice unde determina infectii cu aspect tific precum si abcese ale ficatului. 11.Epidemiologie Produce adeseori infectii nozocomiale in special in clinicile de urologie si chirurgie. 1.Definitie Agentul etiologic[scritub.com]
  • Microbial etiologies of hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia. Clin Infect Dis . 2010 Aug 1. 51 Suppl 1:S81-7. [Medline] . Posluszny JA Jr, Conrad P, Halerz M, Shankar R, Gamelli RL.[emedicine.medscape.com]
  • Urinary tract infections in the early posttransplant period after kidney transplantation: etiologic agents and their susceptibility. Transplant Proc 2011;43:2991-2993. [PubMed] 54 . Khan AS, Dancer SJ, Humphreys H.[antimicrobe.org]
  • One etiological mechanism in a urinary tract infection involves efficient adhesion to the epithelial tissue.[bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com]


  • Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology ISSN: 0899-823X EISSN: 1559-6834 URL: /core/journals/infection-control-and-hospital-epidemiology[cambridge.org]
  • Abstract Clinical charts of 2398 consecutive HIV-infected patients hospitalized over an 8-year period were reviewed retrospectively to identify all cases of Serratia infection and to evaluate the occurrence and outcome of these cases according to several epidemiological[link.springer.com]
  • In addition to Standard Precautions , Contact Precautions may be necessary to prevent the spread of Serratia and other epidemiologically important infectious agents in NICUs.[lfm-hcs.com]
  • Tenover FC, Arbeit RD, Goering RV, Molecular Typing Working Group of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.[nejm.org]
  • , the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.[shea-online.org]
Sex distribution
Age distribution


  • […] opportunistic pathogen in humans. [ 10 ] Derivatives of prodigiosin have recently been found to have immunosuppressive properties and antitumor activity in vivo [11, 12 ] and are also currently being considered as a candidate treatment for Chagas disease. [13] Pathophysiology[emedicine.medscape.com]


  • This case illustrates the necessity for early identification of infective organisms and determining their antibiotic sensitivity, as well as the need for prophylactic removal of impacted teeth to prevent complications such as those presented.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • It might also prevent the timely implementation of infection-control measures crucial to interrupt the transmission of Serratia among infants in a NICU.[lfm-hcs.com]
  • Containment/Prevention To prevent spreading Klebsiella infections between patients, healthcare personnel must follow specific sanitation and infection control precautions .[digjamaica.com]
  • Kuhar, MD 1 , Judith Noble-Wang, PhD 1 and Alexander Kallen, MD, MPH 1 , (1)Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, (2)Epidemic Intelligence Service Program, CDC, Atlanta, GA, (3)Bureau of Communicable[idsa.confex.com]
  • To prevent similar outbreaks, dialysis units should use medication vials containing the doses most appropriate to their clinical needs.[nejm.org]



  1. Mahlen SD. Serratia Infections: from Military Experiments to Current Practice. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2011 Oct; 24(4): 755–791.
  2. Rastogi V, Purohit P, Peters BP, et al. Pulmonary infection with serratia marcescens. Indian J Med Microbiol. 2002 Jul-Sep; 20(3):167-8.
  3. Zarogoulidis P, Porpodis K, Konoglou M, et al. Serratia pneumonia presenting as hemoptysis in a patient with sarcoidosis: a case report. Int J Gen Med. 2011; 4:661-4.
  4. Wu YM, Hsu PC, Yang CC, et al. Serratia marcescens meningitis: Epidemiology, prognostic factors and treatment outcomes. J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2013 Aug;46(4):259-65
  5. Hiremath S, Biyani M. Technique survival with Serratia peritonitis. Adv Perit Dial. 2006; 22:73-6.
  6. Friend JC, Hilligoss DM, Marquesen M, et al. Skin ulcers and disseminated abscesses are characteristic of Serratia marcescens infection in older patients with chronic granulomatous disease. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Jul; 124(1):164-6.
  7. Faro J, Katz A, Berens P, Ross PJ. Premature termination of nursing secondary to Serratia marcescens breast pump contamination. Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Feb; 117(2 Pt 2):485-6.
  8. Jones J, Crete J, Neumeier R. A case report of pink breast milk. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2014 Sep; 43(5):625-30.

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Last updated: 2018-06-22 05:27