Sphingomonas species are Gram-negative, obligate aerobic rod-shaped bacteria. The flagellated, non-fermenting bacteria are widespread in the environment.
Human infections with Sphingomonas paucimobilus and Sphingomonas mucosissima have been reported. The pathogens may for example trigger bloodstream infection and ventilation-associated pneumonia.
Nosocomial outbreaks with S. paucimobilus could be attributed to contaminated liquids and contaminated temperature sensors of ventilation equipment. The documented case of S. mucosissima infection was assumed to have its source in a central venous catheter.
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