The diagnosis of anaerobic bone and joint infections (BJI) were underestimated before the advent of molecular identification and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). We report 61 cases of anaerobic infections based on our 4-year experience with the management of BJI. A total of 75% of cases were post-surgical infections, associated with osteosynthesis devices (65%). Early infections occurred in 27% of cases, delayed infections in 17.5% of cases, and late infections in 55% of cases. We recorded 36 species of 93 anaerobic strains using MALDI-TOF MS (91) and molecular methods (2). We identified 20 strains of Propionibacterium acnes, 13 of Finegoldia magna, six of Peptoniphilus asaccharolyticus, and six of P. harei. Polymicrobial infections occurred in 50 cases. Surgical treatment was performed in 93.5% of cases. The antibiotic treatments included amoxicillin (30%), amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (16%), metronidazole (30%), and clindamycin (26%). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy was used in 17 cases (28%). The relapse rate (27%) was associated with lower limbs localization (p = 0.001). P. acnes BJI was associated with shoulder (p = 0.019), vertebra (p = 0.021), and head flap localization (p = 0.011), and none of these cases relapsed (p = 0.007). F. magna BJI was associated with ankle localization (p = 0.014). Anaerobic BJI is typically considered as a post-surgical polymicrobial infection, and the management of this infection combines surgical and medical treatments. MALDI-TOF MS and molecular identification have improved diagnosis. Thus, physicians should be aware of the polymicrobial nature of anaerobic BJI to establish immediate broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment during the post-surgical period until accurate microbiological results have been obtained.

Walter, Vernier, Pinelli, Million, Coulange, Seng, Stein (2014). Bone and joint infections due to anaerobic bacteria: an analysis of 61 cases and review of the literature. European journal of clinical microbiology & infectious diseases : official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology, 2014 Aug;33(8):1355-64. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24577953