Erysipeloid is an acute bacterial infection of traumatized skin and other organs. Erysipeloid is caused by the non–spore-forming, non–acid-fast, gram-positive rod microorganism, Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae (insidiosa), which long has been known to cause animal and human infections. Direct contact between meat infected with E rhusiopathiae and traumatized human skin results in erysipeloid. In animals, the organism causes swine erysipelas and several other diseases in poultry and sheep.
Erysipeloid is an occupational disease.
Humans acquire erysipeloid after direct contact with infected animals. Erysipeloid is more common among farmers, butchers, cooks, homemakers, and anglers. The infection is more likely to occur during the summer or early fall. See the image below.
Erysipeloid. Courtesy of DermNet New Zealand (http://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/erysipeloid/) and the Waikato District Health Board (http://www.waikatodhb.health.nz/).