A Case Report on Nutritionally Deficient Bacteria: Abiotrophia adiacens

Bethel Shiferaw, Danielle Morrone, Ebisa Bekele, Tabassum Yasmin


Abiotrophia is a nutrition-deficient gram-positive cocci comprising of mainly two species (A. adiacens and A. defective). The name Abiotrophia is derived from the Greek language meaning “life nutrition deficiency”. Abiotrophia species is part of normal flora of the human upper respiratory, gastrointestinal, and urogenital tracts. It has been associated with serious infections like bacteremia and endocarditis. This paper discusses a case of A. adiacens causing bacteremia and vertebral osteomyelitis. A 62-year-old male presented with back pain, fever and chills. Spinal imaging study showed spinal abscess and spinal osteomyelitis, and the blood culture grew A. adiacens. Abiotrophia species, formerly referred to as nutritionally variant streptococci, needs supplemented media for growth and survival. There are extremely few cases that have been reported with spinal involvement due to Abiotrophia species. Resistance to multiple antibiotics has been described in this species. Abiotrophia-associated infections are rare but could be life-threatening. Clinicians should be cognizant of its potential in causing severe infections. We report this case in an attempt to increase awareness about this organism.

J Med Cases. 2015;6(7):295-296
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/jmc2163w


Abiotrophia adiacens; Abiotrophia defective; Life nutrition deficiency; Nutritionally variant; Deficiency; Streptococci; Bacteremia; Vertebral osteomyelitis

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