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31 October 2016, by BOYÉ Th. & CARSUZAA F.

Erysipeloid is an infectious disease that is usually localised and is inoculated from the bacterium Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae.


Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiæ is a Gram-positive, non-sporulating aerobe or anaerobe, the reservoir of which is primarily swine and birds, although it can also be aquatic (fish, shellfish). It can survive for five weeks in water or earth, and several months in organic matter, cadavers and salted meats.

Transmission occurs:

– Primarily through inoculation (in particular via the hands) after direct contact (wounds, bites) with animals and/or meats or the organic substances that derive from them.

– In exceptional cases after a dog bite or after consuming raw fish or pork [3, 4].

This is a widespread zoonosis. There is a greater risk of exposure for certain occupations (butchers, meat-curers, farmers, fishermen, vets) or in connection with domestic tasks (housework).

In receptive subjects, in the majority of cases, a localised cutaneous outbreak occurs; systemic forms are rare (immunodepression and chronic alcohol abuse are risk factors).

On histology, vasculitis with thrombosis of the small arterioles is generally seen in the skin lesions.

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