Testing and Treatment
Cronobacter infection is diagnosed by a laboratory culture.
Cronobacter can be detected in the blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with meningitis or sepsis caused by Cronobacter bacteria. Cronobacter bacteria grow on routine culture media and microbiological laboratories can detect Cronobacter from blood or CSF samples.
CDC does not recommend testing stool for Cronobacter. Cronobacter infection does not typically cause diarrhea in infants.
If a Cronobacter infection is diagnosed in an infant by a laboratory culture, CDC encourages clinicians and laboratories to inform their local or state health department.
Brain imaging studies of infants with meningitis can help detect brain abscesses and other complications.
CDC does not recommend testing formula for Cronobacter contamination unless an infant has a diagnosed Cronobacter infection. In these situations, clinicians should communicate with their local or state health department to arrange testing.
Cronobacter infections are treated with antibiotics. Infants suspected of having sepsis or meningitis should be hospitalized and given empiric antibiotics immediately. Once Cronobacter has been diagnosed, antimicrobial susceptibility testing should be performed because multidrug-resistant strains have been reported. This testing can help medical providers choose the best antibiotic.
People with urinary tract infections or serious wound infections should also be treated with antibiotics.
If a patient is colonized, rather than infected, with Cronobacter, treatment is not needed.