It is usually caused by infection of an operative or traumatic wound, burn or other cutaneous lesion by various bacteria, but group A streptococci and Staphylococcus aureus are the most common aetiological agents.
Cellulitis may also occur in immunocompromised hosts or it may follow erysipelas. It tends to spread to tissue spaces and cleavage planes owing to bacterial elaboration of large amounts of hyaluronidases that, break down polysaccharide ground substance, fibrinolysins that digest fibrin barriers and lecithinases that destroy cell membranes.
(13 Nov 1997)
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