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Kingella kingae: Wikis


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Kingella kingae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: proteobacteria
Order: Neisseriales
Family: Neisseriaceae
Genus: Kingella
Species: kingae

Kingella kingae is a species of gram-negative aerobic coccobacilli. First isolated in 1960, it was not until the 1990s that culture techniques improved enough for it to become recognized as a significant cause of infection in young children. It is best known as a cause of septic arthritis, osteomyelitis, spondylodiscitis, bacteraemia, and endocarditis, and less frequently lower respiratory tract infections and meningitis.[1]

K. kingae is part of the bacterial flora of the throat in young children and is transmitted from child-to-child. When it causes disease, the clinical presentation is often subtle and preceded by a recent history of stomatitis or upper respiratory infection. It is susceptible to a wide array of antibiotics, such as beta-lactams, tetracyclines, erythromycin, fluoroquinolones, that are usually given empirically, so infections usually run a benign clinical course.

One notable exception is in cases of endocarditis (heart valve infection), which can be more refractory to treatment. K. kingae is the fifth member of the HACEK group of fastidious gram-negative bacteria that cause endocarditis. Routine laboratory tests may be normal because the organism is difficult to culture. Inoculating the fluid from infected joints directly into blood culture vials can enhance the chances of an accurate culture, but extended culture times are not helpful.[2]

The organism has also been known as Moraxella kingae.


  1. ^ Yagupsky P. Kingella kingae: from medical rarity to an emerging paediatric pathogen. Lancet Infectious Disease 2004 Jun;4(6):358-67.
  2. ^ Petti CA; Bhally HS; Weinstein MP; Joho K; Wakefield T; Reller LB; Carroll KC. Utility of extended blood culture incubation for isolation of haemophilus, actinobacillus, cardiobacterium, eikenella, and kingella organisms: a retrospective multicenter evaluation. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2006 Jan;44(1):257-9.


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