Kingella kingae outbreaks occur sporadically in childcare centers but remain poorly understood and difficult to identify.
To provide the basis of a better knowledge of K. kingae outbreaks patterns that may help to guide identification and management strategies, we collected epidemiological, clinical and laboratory data from all reported K. kingae outbreaks, and those from 2 new Israel outbreaks in 2014.
Nine outbreaks were identified in the USA, Israel and France from 2003 to 2014. Twenty-seven children with a median age of 14 ± 4.1 months were affected, male:female ratio of 1.4:1. Outbreaks demonstrated seasonal patterns from the 10th to the 45th weeks, a mean duration of 13.1 ± 8.4 days, a mean attack rate of 17.3 ± 5.1% and a case-fatality rate of 3.7% (1/27). Seventy-four percentage of children had fever (20/27), and the mean values of white blood cell count and C-reactive protein level were 14.6 ± 4.5 × 109/L and 23.8 ± 24.1 mg/L, respectively. Osteoarticular infections accounted for 88.9% of cases (24/27), bacteremia 7.4% (2/27), endocarditis 3.7% (1/27) and meningitis 3.7% (1/27). Specific real-time polymerase chain reaction demonstrated higher performance than culture methods in the diagnosis of case patients and investigations of oropharyngeal K. kingae carriage among close contacts, and multilocus sequence typing methods revealed that ST-6 and ST-25 invasive strains were responsible for multiple country-dependent outbreaks. Coviral infections were identified in the majority of K. kingae outbreaks, notably those causing oral ulcers.
K. kingae outbreaks displayed severe K. kingae diseases that were poorly confirmed with culture methods. We argue for the use of genomic technologies to investigate further K. kingae outbreaks.