An international group of geneticists, epidemiologists and public health researchers based in Australia, France and the U.S. teamed up to study a pathogen after it caused a small but deadly outbreak of illnesses in Wisconsin.More
The 2015-16 Elizabethkingia outbreak spanned at least 12 Wisconsin counties, and its hard to find a common thread among all of the victims. But genetic analysis shows that they were all exposed to the same novel strain.More
A species of bacteria called Elizabethkingia anophelis has caused serious blood infections in dozens of Wisconsinites since November 2015. As of April 8, 2016, 18 of those patients have died, according to state health officials.More
Elizabethkingia is a genus of gram-negative bacteria commonly found in soil and water. The organisms seldom cause disease in humans, but when they do, illness in adults typically manifests as a serious blood infection resistant to many antibiotics.
The vast majority of Elizabethkingia-caused infections known to medicine have struck individuals with compromised immune systems: people already battling one or more other serious diseases, patients recovering from organ transplants or other major medical procedures, the elderly, and infants.More
Given the general infrequency of Elizabethkingia infections, the winter 2015-16 outbreak in Wisconsin is presenting a novel challenge for state and federal health authorities, as well as to providers working directly with patients. Despite the rarity of this health issue, multiple health organizations are providing information for the public about the bacteria. The emergent nature of these infections is also prompting coverage from a variety of regional and national media outlets.More
Elizabethkingia continues to challenge epidemiologists as it afflicts people scattered throughout southern and eastern Wisconsin. It's a type of gram-negative bacteria found commonly in the environment, but only rarely causes disease in humans.More