Severe cellulitis/myositis caused by Stenotrophomonas maltophilia

Nathan P. Downhour, Eskild A. Petersen, Todd S. Krueger, Krishnarao V. Tangella, David E. Nix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To present a case of cellulitis/myositis due to Stenotrophomonas maltophilia in the absence of trauma and to discuss a potentially novel treatment option. CASE SUMMARY: A 57-year-old white man, having undergone an allogeneic bone marrow transplant, developed myositis with S. maltophilia of the left soleus muscle; there had been no trauma. Risk factors for infection included neutropenia, prolonged hospitalization and intensive care unit stay, and broad-spectrum antibiotic exposure. The affected area of muscle was resected and the patient successfully treated with trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX), ticarcillin/clavulanate, and aztreonam. DISCUSSION: In severe myositis/cellulitis caused by S. maltophilia, TMP/SMX is considered the drug of choice. However, bacteriostatic agents such as TMP/SMX are less than ideal in neutropenic patients. The combination of ticarcillin/clavulanate plus aztreonam has been shown to improve activity in vitro against this organism compared with TMP/SMX. This is likely due to inhibition of the 2 β-lactamases this organism produces by clavulanate and aztreonam. In our study of clinical isolates of S. maltophilia, this combination reduced the minimum inhibitory concentration at 90% by 128-fold and was synergistic against 10 of 12 isolates tested in time-kill analysis. CONCLUSIONS: S. maltophilia is emerging as an important pathogen in patients with compromised immunity, leading to severe infections that are difficult to treat. Based on in vitro synergy studied, we recommend considering ticarcillin/clavulanate plus aztreonam as a potential treatment option in immunocompromised patients with S. maltophilia infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-66
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Aztreonam
  • Cellulitis
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia
  • Ticarcillin/clavulanate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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