Book Section

The acronym HACEK describes a heterogeneous group of organisms that share three major characteristics. First, they are small gram-negative rods that are commonly present as part of normal oral–pharyngeal or respiratory flora. Second, they are relatively fastidious microorganisms. Third, they have a predilection to infect heart valves. The HACEK group includes Haemophilus species (except Haemophilus influenzae), Aggregatibacter (formerly Actinobacillus) species, Cardiobacterium hominis, Eikenella corrodens, and Kingella species. These organisms are infamous for their ability to cause endocarditis although, rarely, they can also cause a variety of other infections (Table 137.1). For example, human bites can result in cellulitis or abscess formation resulting from HACEK organisms, especially Eikenella species, and various Haemophilus species can cause epiglottitis or brain abscesses.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chu, VH

Published Date

  • January 1, 2015

Book Title

  • Clinical Infectious Disease, Second Edition

Start / End Page

  • 904 - 906

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781107038912

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/CBO9781139855952.156

Citation Source

  • Scopus