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Open Access Case report

Purulent pericarditis due to co-infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a patient with features of advanced HIV infection

Andrew Louw1 and Mohammed Tikly12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Soweto, South Africa

2 University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2007, 7:12  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-7-12

Published: 8 March 2007



Both Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Streptococcus pneumoniae are common pathogens in patients with HIV infection.

Case Presentation

We present an unusual case of purulent pericarditis resulting in cardiac tamponade due to infection with both organisms. We highlight the re-emergence of pneumococcal pericarditis in the HIV era and describe the pitfalls and challenges in the diagnosis of this condition.


Clinicians working in HIV endemic areas need to consider dual infection with these organisms in patients who respond inadequately to either antibiotics or anti-tuberculous therapy alone.