Journal of clinical microbiology

Pseudo-outbreak of Actinomyces graevenitzii associated with bronchoscopy.

PMID 25355767


Outbreaks and pseudo-outbreaks of infection related to bronchoscopy typically involve Gram-negative bacteria, Mycobacterium species or Legionella species. We report an unusual bronchoscopy-related pseudo-outbreak due to Actinomyces graevenitzii. Extensive epidemiological and microbiological investigation failed to identify a common source. Strain typing revealed that the cluster was comprised of heterogeneous strains of A. graevenitzii. A change in laboratory procedures for Actinomyces cultures was coincident with the emergence of the pseudo-outbreak, and we determined that A. graevenitzii isolates more readily adopted a white, dry, molar tooth appearance on anaerobic colistin nalidixic acid (CNA) agar which likely facilitated its detection and identification in bronchoscopic specimens. This unusual pseudo-outbreak was related to frequent requests of bronchoscopists for Actinomyces cultures combined with a change in microbiology laboratory practices.

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