Chromobacterium violaceum is a gram-negative rod and is isolated from soil and water in tropical and subtropical regions. The species have pigmented and nonpigmented colony types. Infections caused by nonpigmented strains are rare. We report on two cases of infection caused by both pigmented and nonpigmented strains of C. violaceum. Two 24-year-old Korea Airline stewardesses were admitted to Inha University Hospital, Inchon, South Korea, on 9 August 1997, 3 days after an airplane accident in Guam. Both had multiple lacerations on exposed parts of their bodies. There was swelling, tenderness, and pus discharge. The wounds contained many small fragments of stones and weeds. A pigmented strain was isolated from the left hand and a nonpigmented strain was isolated from the left knee of one patient. For the other patient only a nonpigmented strain was isolated from a foot wound. The nonpigmented colonies from the left-knee and the left-foot wounds did not produce any pigment even after an extended period of incubation. The biochemical characteristics were the same for each strain except for oxidase and indole reactions. The pigmented strain was oxidase negative and indole positive, whereas the nonpigmented strains were oxidase positive and indole negative. The patients were successfully treated by debridement and with appropriate antibiotics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)