Kingella kingae in children's throat can point to bone, joint infection

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A majority of children who had a bone or joint infection caused by the Kingella kingae bacterium carried the bacteria in their throats, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

For the study, researchers examined 77 children, between the ages of 6 months and 4 years, admitted to two pediatric medical centers for suspected bone or joint infection. They compared the 77 children to 286 controls.

The study shows most children under the age of 4 who suffered a bone or joint infection were infected by Kingella kingae bacteria.

"More importantly, we discovered that 70 percent of children who had a bone/joint infection carried these bacteria in their throats, while it is uncommon in uninfected children (only 6 percent)," said Dr. Jocelyn Gravel, Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine, Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

Thus, presence of Kingella kingae in the throat of a child "with a suspected bone infection will point towards K. kingae as the culprit. This may decrease the number of other tests performed to identify the pathogen," said Dr. Gravel.

The research team also noted the need for further studies.  

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