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Infective organisms

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The infecting organism producing a brain abscess can be predicted according to the site of origin:

  • local causes:
    • from chronic otitis media and mastoiditis:
      • Streptococcus spp.
      • gram negative bacilli
      • Bacteroides
      • Actinomyces
    • acute sinusitis:
      • Strep. spp
      • Staphylococcus spp.
      • Bacteroides
      • Haemophilus
    • penetrating head wounds:
      • Staph. spp.
      • Clostridium
    • post-operative wound infection:
      • Staph. spp.
      • Streptococcus
      • Pseudomonas (1)

  • remote causes: { any of the following:
    • congenital heart disease { Staph. spp.,
    • endocarditis { Strep. spp.,
    • bronchiectasis { Coliforms,
    • pneumonia { Bacteroides,
    • lung / liver abscess { Nocardia,
    • diverticulitis { Aspergillus
    • dental caries / dental extraction
    • infected needle sites
    • boils


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