Elizabethkingia is a genus of bacteria commonly found in the environment worldwide and has been detected in soil, river water and reservoirs; however, it rarely makes people sick. Cases are diagnosed through culture of body fluids, most often blood testing. Elizabethkingia has mostly caused meningitis in newborn babies and meningitis or bloodstream and respiratory infections in people with weakened immune systems.
The signs and symptoms of illness that can result from exposure to the bacteria can include fever, shortness of breath, chills or cellulitis.
Confirmation of the illness requires a laboratory test.
Elizabethkingia anophelis growing on a blood agar plate
Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Special Bacteriology Reference Lab