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Encapsulated bacterial infections following splenectomy

Cadili, Ali

Reviews in Medical Microbiology: January 2010 - Volume 21 - Issue 1 - p 7–10
doi: 10.1097/MRM.0b013e3283361e10

Encapsulated organisms are especially prone to causing invasive infections. This is due to the added virulence provided by their polysaccharide capsule. The body is dependent on splenic function for clearing these organisms. Patients that have undergone splenectomy, therefore, are prone to rampant and often lethal infections caused by encapsulated bacteria. Measures to lessen the impact of such infections in splenectomized patients revolve around patient education, immunization, and the administration of prophylactic antibiotics.

Department of Surgery, University of Alberta, Canada.

Received 9 October, 2009

Accepted 17 October, 2009

Correspondence to Ali Cadili, MD, University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. E-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.