Elizabethkingia are Gram-negative bacteria that tend to be naturally resistant to many of the antibiotics that physicians may typically use to treat infections. However, the strain responsible for most of the cases in the current outbreak can be treated with several other antibiotics, so early recognition of the bacteria is critical to ensure patients receive appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Confirmation of the species Elizabethkingia anophelis and determination whether cases are part of the ongoing outbreak is done through MALDI-TOF (which detects the protein fingerprints of a microbe) and optical mapping at CDC.

For consultation or questions about confirmatory testing, please contact CDC’s Special Bacteriology Reference Laboratory at

Image of a CDC laboratorian uses MALDI ToF to analyze samples