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Invasive Cutibacterium (formerly Propionibacterium) infections

Zeina A Kanafani, MD, MS
Section Editor
Daniel J Sexton, MD
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH


Cutibacteria (formerly propionibacteria) are part of the normal flora of human skin and mucosal surfaces. Occasionally they cause clinically significant infections, particularly in the setting of shoulder surgery, orthopedic hardware, endovascular devices, and cerebrospinal shunts. It can be difficult to determine whether positive culture results for cutibacteria reflect contamination or true infection.

Infections with Cutibacterium species can be classified into three categories:

Acne in teenagers and young adults (when caused by C. acnes)

Surgical wound infections

Invasive deep seated infections, usually in the setting of implantable devices (eg, pacemakers, shunts, etc)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Apr 11, 2017.
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