• Vol. 31 No. 6, 802–804
  • 15 November 2002

Gemella Empyema Cured without Antibiotics: A Case Report



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Introduction: Gemella are gram-positive bacteria that are commensals of the upper respiratory tract in humans and infrequently known to cause infections.

Clinical Picture: We report a case of thoracic empyema due to Gemella morbillorum in an elderly Chinese male who had been having symptoms for 3 months and no response to multiple courses of antibiotics.

Intervention: The collection was drained with ultrasound guidance.

Outcome: Drainage of the empyema produced rapid resolution of symptoms and no antibiotics were started.

Conclusions: Gemella is a very rare cause of empyema which usually responds well to treatment.

Gemella are gram-positive anaerobic bacteria that rarely produce serious human infections. We describe a case of thoracic empyema that occurred in an elderly Chinese male which, to our knowledge, is the first reported case out of Southeast Asia.

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