Case Report

Exudative pharyngitis and Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum: A case report and review of the literature

Kessendri Reddy, Sebastian Gericke, Helena Rabie, Colette Pienaar, Motlatji Maloba
Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases | Vol 36, No 1 | a225 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajid.v36i1.225 | © 2021 Kessendri Reddy, Sebastian Gericke, Helena Rabie, Colette Pienaar, Motlatji Maloba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 June 2020 | Published: 29 March 2021

About the author(s)

Kessendri Reddy, Department of Microbiology, National Health Laboratory Services Tygerberg, Cape Town, South Africa; and Division of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Sebastian Gericke, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Helena Rabie, Division of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Colette Pienaar, Department of Microbiology, National Health Laboratory Services Tygerberg, Cape Town, South Africa; and Division of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Motlatji Maloba, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum is an established member of the normal flora of the respiratory tract. This organism is an emerging cause of respiratory tract infection, as well as infection of the skin and skin structures, urinary tract and other sterile sites. The syndrome of C. pseudodiphtheriticum exudative pharyngitis is a diagnostic challenge of particular relevance in recent times as this organism can be confused with Corynebacterium diphtheriae in the clinical setting and in the laboratory. We report a case of exudative pharyngitis, possibly due to C. pseudodiphtheriticum, in a 14-month old, incompletely vaccinated, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive infant and review the role of this organism in terms of its microbiological profile and identification, disease spectrum and antimicrobial susceptibility pattern.

Keywords

exudative pharyngitis; Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum clinical presentation; Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum laboratory identification; Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum disease spectrum; emerging pathogen.

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