Infectious Disease Compendium

Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae


Thin gram positive rod.

Epidemiologic Risks

Causes disease in swine (insert your own cheap shot here; Congress being the easiest) and persists for long periods of time in fish, crabs, whales and other animals.

It causes "whale finger." In people, whales I suppose, get flipper disease.

Trauma from the aforementioned animals leads to disease.


A) erysipeloid, a localized skin lesion that acts like an indolent cellulitis. It can spread distally, not proximally.

B) a diffuse skin eruption with systemic symptoms, and

C) bacteremia with or without endocarditis.


Penicillin OR imipenem OR ciprofloxacin.


Resistant to Vancomycin; macrolides and tetracyclines are unreliable.

Last update: 05/05/18