• A. Strep pneumoniae ✓
  • B. Staph aureus
  • C. H-influenzae
  • D. Pseudomonas


A splenectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the partial or complete removal of the spleen. The spleen is an organ located in the upper left part of the abdomen, under the ribcage and above the stomach.

However, in certain medical conditions such as trauma, cancer, or certain blood disorders, the spleen may need to be removed through a splenectomy.

During a splenectomy, the surgeon may either remove the entire spleen (total splenectomy) or only part of it (partial splenectomy). The procedure can be performed through open surgery or minimally invasive techniques such as laparoscopy. After a splenectomy, patients are at an increased risk of infections, particularly from encapsulated bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae. Therefore, they may require vaccinations and long-term antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent serious infections.

Following a splenectomy, patients are at an increased risk of infections due to the absence of the spleen, which plays a crucial role in the immune system. The spleen is responsible for filtering blood and removing old or damaged red blood cells, as well as producing antibodies to help fight infections. Without a spleen, individuals are more susceptible to certain types of bacterial infections, particularly those caused by encapsulated bacteria.

Patients who have undergone a splenectomy are particularly susceptible to infections caused by encapsulated bacteria like S. pneumoniae due to their impaired ability to produce antibodies against these pathogens.

Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus, is a common bacterium that can cause serious infections in individuals who have undergone a splenectomy. This bacterium is encapsulated, meaning it has a protective polysaccharide capsule that helps it evade the immune system. As a result, individuals without a functioning spleen are less able to effectively clear this pathogen from their bodies, leading to an increased risk of infections such as pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis.

While Staphylococcus aureus (Staph aureus) and Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) are also potential pathogens that can cause infections following a splenectomy, Streptococcus pneumoniae is particularly concerning due to its encapsulated nature and the increased susceptibility of splenectomized individuals to this bacterium.

Pseudomonas is less commonly associated with post-splenectomy infections compared to encapsulated bacteria like Streptococcus pneumoniae.

In conclusion, the organism most likely to cause infection in patients following a splenectomy is Strep pneumoniae due to its encapsulated nature and the increased vulnerability of individuals without a spleen to this pathogen.

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