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Question 51#

Concerning leech therapy used to salvage venously congested tissues, which of the following is false?

a. Complications include postoperative infection with Aeromonas spp.
b. Augmentin® is the most effective prophylactic antibiotic
c. The gastro-intestinal microbiota differs between Hirudo spp.
d. Hirudo medicinalis was FDA approved as a medical device in 2004
e. Recent microbiological studies have shown that Aeromonas is sensitive to fluoroquinolones

Correct Answer is B


Augmentin® is the most effective prophylactic antibiotic. B is false. Aeromonas is a gram negative bacillus which is a well reported cause of infection following leech therapy. Aeromonas spp. strains resistant to Augmentin have been reported in several papers in the literature whereas fluoroquinolones seem to be consistently active. Recent microbiological studies have shown that the gastro-intestinal microbiota differs amongst the European medicinal leeches (Hirudo verbana, orientalis and medicinalis). Bacteria isolated from the leech include Aeromonas veronii, rikenella and Morganella morganii. 


1. Whitaker IS, Kamya C, Azzopardi EA, Graf J, Kon M, Lineaweaver WC. Preventing infective complications following leech therapy: is practice keeping pace with current research? Microsurgery 2009; Apr 27. [Epub ahead of print].