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Rosenbach's disease

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A rare disease of traumatized skin consisting of fever and constitutional symptoms, a vesicular eruption especially of the hands and feet, and inflammation of the mucous membranes and orifices. Appears most commonly in kitchen workers, butchers, fishermen, and other persons coming in contact with contaminated meat, animal products, or animal carcasses. High incidence in summer and fall. It is caused by infection with Erysipelothrix rhusopathiae. The incubation period ranges from 2 to 7 days. The eponym Rosenbach’s disease is in connection with the mild type, while Klauder’s form comprises a syndrome of severe systemic involvement.

Henri Jules Louis Marie Rendu 1844-1902) in 1916 and Noël Fiessinger (1881-1946) and Rendu in 1917 first reported this condition in the French literature. Joseph Victor Klauder in 1917 published the first account in English. It was first described by William Morrant Baker (1839-1896) in 1873.


  • W. M. baker:
    Erythema serpens.
    St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Reports, London, 1873, 9: 198-211.
  • A. J. F. Rosenbach, in:
    [von Langenbeck’s] Archiv für klinische Chirurgie, Berlin, 1887, 36: 346.
  • J. V. Klauder:
    Erysipeloid and swine erysipelas in man. A clinical and bacteriological review: Swine erysipelas in the United States.
    Journal of the American Medical Association, Chicago, 1926, 86: 536-541.
    Archives of Dermatology and Syphilology, Chicago, 1937, 36: 1067.
  • J. V. Klauder, et al:
    A distinctive form of erysipeloid among fish handlers.
    Archives of Dermatology and Syphilology, Chicago, 1926, 14: 622.

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