Fatal Chromobacterium violaceum septicaemia in northern Laos, a modified oxidase test and post-mortem forensic family G6PD analysis.
Slesak G., Douangdala P., Inthalad S., Silisouk J., Vongsouvath M., Sengduangphachanh A., Moore CE., Mayxay M., Matsuoka H., Newton PN.
BACKGROUND: Chromobacterium violaceum is a Gram negative facultative anaerobic bacillus, found in soil and stagnant water, that usually has a violet pigmented appearance on agar culture. It is rarely described as a human pathogen, mostly from tropical and subtropical areas. CASE PRESENTATION: A 53 year-old farmer died with Chromobacterium violaceum septicemia in Laos. A modified oxidase method was used to demonstrate that this violacious organism was oxidase positive. Forensic analysis of the glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase genotypes of his family suggest that the deceased patient did not have this possible predisposing condition. CONCLUSION: C. violaceum infection should be included in the differential diagnosis in patients presenting with community-acquired septicaemia in tropical and subtropical areas. The apparently neglected but simple modified oxidase test may be useful in the oxidase assessment of other violet-pigmented organisms or of those growing on violet coloured agar.