A case of recurrent Bacteroides fragilis septicaemia leading eventually to meningitis in a 6-week-old infant is reported. Perforation of the small bowel at the constriction ring of a strangulated inguinal hernia caused a faecal peritonitis and was the primary source of infection. Erythromycin, to which the isolate was fully sensitive in vitro, was only temporarily an effective treatment; the infection was finally eradicated with chloramphenicol, and the baby made a full recovery. Bacteroides infections in infancy and childhood are briefly reviewed.
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