Invasive Fusobacterium Infections in Children: A Retrospective Multicenter Study

Adi Hirschhorn, Diana Averbuch, Nadav Michaan, Amos Adler, Galia Grisaru-Soen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The past decade has witnessed a rise in Fusobacterium infections. This study aimed to describe the epidemiology, clinical and demographic characteristics and outcomes associated with Fusobacterium infections in hospitalized children in central Israel. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of children <18 years old who had been admitted with a diagnosis of invasive Fusobacterium infection (IFI) between January 2010 and April 2020. Clinical, laboratory and microbiologic data were retrieved. IFI diagnosis was based upon microbiological identification in any specimen by culture or by 16S ribosomal RNA polymerase chain reaction. Results: Fifty-one children (26 boys) with a median age of 3 years (range, 5-16 years) were included. Hospitalizations for IFI increased from 19 of 100,000 admissions between 2010 and 2015 to 50 of 100,000 between 2016 and 2020, representing a 2.5-fold increase. Most of the infections were from an otogenic source (n = 28, 55%) followed by an oropharyngeal/respiratory source (n = 21, 41%). The most common complications were subperiosteal and epidural abscesses (41% and 37%, respectively). Thrombosis was diagnosed in 11 children, 10 of whom had sinus vein thrombosis. All had an otogenic source. Children with otogenic compared with all other infection sources were significantly younger (median age of 1.9 vs. 3 years; P < 0.001). Forty-seven children (92%) underwent a surgical intervention. All patients survived, one with neurologic sequelae. Conclusions: The admissions for IFI in children increased 2.5-fold during the last decade. The most common source is otogenic, especially among younger children, and it is associated with high complication rates. Current management, including combinations of antibiotics and surgical interventions, leads to favorable outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-523
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Fusobacterium
  • Lemierre
  • children
  • invasive
  • otogenic infections


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