Staphylococcus epidermidis was isolated from the blood of a 25-year-old pregnant woman following the administration of eight units of platelets. She had developed chills and a fever of 41.4°C soon after the transfusions were completed. S. epidermidis was also obtained from all eight platelet units, as well as from the packed-erythrocyte unit associated with the first unit of platelets. The isolation of the same organism from these epidemiologically related sources provided us with the opportunity to phenotypically and genetically characterize the isolates. Several typing methods, including four molecular techniques, were used to increase our chances of finding any differences between the isolates under investigation. Phenotypic analyses demonstrated that S. epidermidis isolates from the patient, platelet units, and erythrocyte unit reacted in exactly the same manner in 15 biochemical tests, exhibited slime production, and had the same antibiotic susceptibility pattern. Genetic analyses, which included plasmid profiles, plasmid cross-hybridization, field inversion gel electrophoresis, and ribotyping, substantiated the relationships between the S. epidermidis isolates from the patient, platelet units, and erythrocyte unit. Eight S. epidermidis control strains unrelated to the case were found to differ significantly from the platelet-related strain.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)