Tim Chance tim.chance at
Sun Mar 11 15:38:00 EST 2001

I think some labs do look for A. haemolyticum in throats. It has been
suggested as an occasional cause of sore throats but not conclusively so
and I think may also be present as a commensal. If I remember rightly one
way to pick it up is to Gram stain when you see lots of Gram pos
diphtheroids (a bit dodgy I reckon) or you can look for haemolysis (but I
seem to recall you need sheep or human). We don't look for it, only Group A
strep. Whether A.haemolyticlum could cause recurrent sore throat as
detailed in the original posting I don't know but doubt it.

John Gentile <yjgent at> wrote in article
<B6CEF494.158E%yjgent at>...
I've encountered this bug a few times, mostly in wounds and blood cultures.
I would think that in a lot of labs this would get mis-identified. In our
lab one of our rotators called it a beta Strep not group A and when I
followed up a couple of days later I found the bug and correctly identified
it in a blood culture. I went back to the other culture and re-identified
and had to correct the report.

I'm not too sure about throat cultures though. I've been told by several
docs that the only thing we should look for is Strep Group A. Did you take
swab and look at the culture? Could you talk to your micro lab supervisor
and ask if A. hemo. is a possibility?

John Gentile                                    Rhode Island Apple Group
yjgent at                                      President
"I never make mistakes, I only have unexpected learning opportunities"

From: rd-ohl at ("Rhonda")
Organization: BIOSCI/MRC Human Genome Mapping Project Resource Centre
Newsgroups: bionet.microbiology
Date: 10 Mar 2001 00:25:50 -0000
Subject: Arcanobacterium

Does anyone know anything about this bacterium? Arcanobacterium
(A. Haemolyticum)
My 16 yr old daughter is having a tonsillectomy next week and I have a
sneaking suspicion this is the cause.
She started having tonsillitis about a year ago and the diagnosis was Strep
A based on observation not on testing. Penicillin in pill form didn't work
for her so we proceeded to use Penicillin IM. This went on about every
months. Being an MT specializing in Microbiology I finally decided to do
some research myself but all I could find was an older article on Medscape
where it was included in an article about Rhodococcus Equi. It indicated
that this is a common (?) co-infection in people 15 to 30 yrs who have been
diagnosed with Group A or other beta hemolytic streps. Also with Mono,
my daughter also had , confirmed by testing. It says that there are reports
of treatment failure with Penicillin and the DOC is Erythromycin. It also
says that it must be specifically sought in appropriate specimens to obtain
an accurate diagnosis.
My concern is that we do not routinely screen throat cultures for this
organism. I was wondering if any other labs do? And if they do, what
documentation they have that I could give to our Microbiologist to convince
him we should be.
As a mother I am upset that this was overlooked and now my daughter has to
have surgery instead of a different antibiotic. As a professional I want to
do all I can to save other patients from the same fate. Maybe it is all so
simple as my GP doc should have known about it and treated her
accordingly...they are just human after all...but if it is our mistake by
not screening for it I would like to correct that.
Thanks for your time and in advance for your input. Any comments would be
greatly appreciated!


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