Emerging pathogen in kids


IN 1960, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US, Elizabeth King isolated a new Gram-negative bacillus that was short (0.6—1 by 1—3 microns in size), had tapered ends, formed short chains or pairs, was beta-haemolytic on blood agar, and grew in both aerobic and anaerobic environments. 

She cultured it from blood, joint fluid, throat swabs and bone specimens. 

This organism was originally called Moraxella kingii, in King’s honour, but in the 1970s it was renamed Kingella kingae. It was not until the 1990s that the breadth of infections caused by this organism was recognised. 

K. kingae is a member of the HACEK group that cause up to 5% of all cases of bacterial endocarditis (HACEK — Haemophilus, Actinobacillus, Cardiobacterium, Eikenella and Kingella species).

While the HACEK organisms are strongly identified as causes of bacterial