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Salmonella enterica ssp. arizonae infection in a 43-year-old Italian man with hypoglobulinemia: a case report and review of the literature

Stefano Di Bella1*, Alessandro Capone1, Eugenio Bordi2, Emma Johnson3, Maria Musso1, Simone Topino1, Pasquale Noto1 and Nicola Petrosillo1

Author Affiliations

1 Second Infectious Diseases Division, National Institute for Infectious Diseases, 'Lazzaro Spallanzani', Via Portuense, 292 00149, Rome, Italy

2 Microbiology Laboratory, National Institute for Infectious Diseases, 'Lazzaro Spallanzani', Via Portuense, 292 00149, Rome, Italy

3 Clinical Microbiology Registrar, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust, Sheffield, UK

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Journal of Medical Case Reports 2011, 5:323  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-5-323

Published: 22 July 2011



Salmonella enterica ssp. arizonae is an uncommon human pathogen with serious infections reported in immunocompromised hosts. In Europe, only a few cases have been described. Patients with this infection usually have a history of contact with reptiles or travel abroad. We present a case report of infection in a patient with hypoglobulinemia and a literature review.

Case presentation

We describe the case of a 43-year-old Caucasian Italian man with hypoglobulinemia who presented to our hospital with sepsis and diarrhea. A stool culture yielded S. enterica ssp. arizonae. Our patient was treated with oral ciprofloxacin and made a full recovery. We also present a review of the cases of S. enterica ssp. arizonae infections previously reported in Europe.


The majority of infections from S. enterica ssp. arizonae occur in patients who are immunocompromised. Data from the literature suggests that it may be difficult to eradicate the bacteria and thus, prolonged antibiotic courses are often used. It would be advisable for clinicians to investigate for pre-existing immune dysfunction if S. enterica ssp. arizonae is isolated. In Italy, although there have only been a few cases, the likely route of transmission remains unclear and requires further surveillance.