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Nikola Djurdjevic, Pahnwat Tonya Taweesedt, Margaret Paulson, Abigail LaNou, Milan Radovanovic, Janki N. Patel, Mladjen Veselinovic, Wendy R. McDermott, Igor Dumic
(Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, NY, USA)
Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e923266
Despite proven efficacy of vaccinations against Streptococcus pneumoniae in preventing infection, only 70% of eligible individuals receive the vaccine in the United States. Pneumococcal bacteremia represents a form of invasive pneumococcal disease and is associated with high mortality, especially in immunocompromised patients and the elderly. Purpura fulminans is a rare complication and manifestation of disseminated intravascular coagulation and sepsis. It is exceedingly rare in the setting of pneumococcal bacteremia, particularly in immunocompetent individuals.
CASE REPORT: We report a generally healthy 67-year-old male with schizophrenia who refused pneumococcal vaccination. He had an intact and functional spleen with a functional immune system. The patient presented with fever and diarrhea. He subsequently progressed to develop purpura fulminans and septic shock due to S. pneumoniae bacteremia. Despite an extensive search for the primary source of infection, none could not be identified. Due to timely initiation of appropriate antibiotic therapy and aggressive supportive care in an intensive care unit, he recovered despite multi-organ failure that developed throughout his hospitalization.
CONCLUSIONS: We present a rare manifestation of a potentially preventable disease and emphasize the importance of pneumococcal vaccination in order to decrease the risk of developing invasive pneumococcal disease. Furthermore, we discuss etiology, diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and evidence-based management of purpura fulminans and invasive pneumococcal disease with a literature review. Purpura fulminans due to S. pneumoniae is exceedingly rare in immunocompetent patients and an unusual clinical manifestation of pneumococcal bacteremia.