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Infectious Diseases

Alcoligenes xylosoxidan; Treatment for

04/25/2005

Question:

I have been suffering from sinus infections for 6 months. About the time it seems to be clearing up, it bounces back in full force with all the headaches,sneezing, stuffiness, post nasal, chest congestion and coughing. I have been treated with Cipro 1000/mg daily, and Ketek. A ure taken after the second treatment with Cipro grew the bacteria. My doctor had never heard of it and my email to CDC came up empty. Can you reccommend a regimen I might discuss with my doctor? For info, I am in good health, 72 years old, walk for exercise am have no real problems except for persistant skin cancers. I am fair skinned, blond when young, grew up on a farm and sun exposure was daily. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Answer:

Alcaligenes xylosoxidans is an unusual cause of infections.  It can be found as part of the normal bacteria which colonize certain parts of our bodies, such as the ear and the gastrointestinal tract.  You did not mention what was ured.  I assume it was sputum since you mention chest congestion and coughing.  If this is the case it may be that the bacteria was a colonizer, in other words not truly a cause of your illness, but a bystander.  On the other hand certain lung disorders can predispose a person to alcaligenes xylosoxidans infections. You should speak to your doctor about a chest xray, sinus X-rays, a repeat ure, and possibly a trip to a specialist if you are still ill.

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Response by:

Peter Grubbs, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati