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Preterm Labor Caused by Hemolysis, Elevated Liver Enzymes, Low Platelet Count (HELLP) Syndrome and Postpartum Infection Complicated with Actinomyces Species: A Case Report

Challenging differential diagnosis, Rare disease

Ahlam Alghamdi, Deanne Tabb, Laura Hagan

USA Department of Infectious Disease Pharmacy, Piedmont Columbus Regional Health, Columbus, GA, USA

Am J Case Rep 2018; 19:1350-1353

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.911374

Available online:

Published: 2018-11-13


BACKGROUND: Actinomyces species are normal flora of the upper respiratory, female genital, and gastrointestinal tract. Actinomyces species are generally considered to have a low virulence potential. Here we report one case of Actinomyces viscosus isolated from a neonatal blood culture as a consequence of extreme prematurity in the presence of HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelet count) syndrome.
CASE REPORT: A 23-week gestational age female infant was born to a 32-year-old mother. The pregnancy was complicated by severe HELLP syndrome leading to cesarean section at 23-week gestation. The initial blood culture grew anaerobic gram-positive branching rods consistent with Actinomyces species. Due to patient instability, antibiotic was started and continued for a total of 13 days. On day of life 26, the reference laboratory identified the organism as A. viscosus by 16S ribosomal RNA.
CONCLUSIONS: In this case, Actinomyces species was a consequence of HELLP syndrome and consecutive extreme prematurity. Further research to look more closely at Actinomyces species isolated from neonatal blood culture will help to elucidate the true significance of these isolates.

Keywords: Actinomyces, Infant, Premature, Sepsis



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