Shewanella algae is a gram-negative, nonfermenting, oxidase-positive, motile bacillus that is ubiquitous in aquatic ecosystems. Human infections are rare and the immunocompromised are left most vulnerable. Risk factors for this infection include exposure to seawater, consumption of raw seafood, and underlying comorbid conditions such as hepatobiliary disease and chronic cutaneous ulcers. Previously documented cases of S. algae have involved near drownings, contaminated raw shellfish, or wound exposure to seawater, mud, sand, and sewage. This case study is unique in that it describes Shewanella bacteremia without any of these typical preceding exposures. We present a case of S. algae pneumonia and bacteremia in an elderly male patient living at a long-term care facility without any recent open water exposure.
Address correspondence to Thomas J. Weiss, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), 4301 Jones Bridge Rd., Bethesda, MD 20814. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org