Tags: bacterial endocarditis

Candida Species

Candida organisms are commensal with humans and, in the absence of alterations in host defense mechanisms, usually do not cause disease. Candida exists as normal flora within the oral cavity, throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, in expectorated sputum, in the vagina, and in the bladder of patients with indwelling catheters. There are >150 species within the genus Candida, although the majority are not known to cause disease in humans. C albicans, C krusei, C glabrata, C tropicalis, C pseudotropicalis, C guilliermondii, C parapsilosis, C lusitaniae, and C rugosa are known human pathogens.

Treponema Pallidum

The term syphilis was first used in 1530 by the Italian physician Girolamo Fracastoro in his epic poem Syphilis Sive Morbus Gallicus. Much has been learned since then about this sexually transmitted disease caused by T pallidum.

Brucella, Francisella, Pasteurella, Yersinia, & Hacek

Brucellosis (also called undulant fever, Mediterranean fever, Malta fever) is an infection that causes abortion in domestic animals. It is caused by one of six species of Brucella coccobacilli. It may occasionally be transmitted to humans, in whom the disease could be acute or chronic with ongoing fever and constitutional symptoms without localized findings.

Other Gram-Positive Cocci

Leuconostoc spp. are gram-positive cocci or coccobacilli that grow in pairs and chains; Leuconostoc spp. may be morphologically mistaken for streptococci. They are vancomycin-resistant facultative anaerobes that are commonly found on plants and vegetables and less commonly in dairy products and wine. Leuconostoc spp. have been documented to cause bacteremias, intravenous line sepsis with localized exit site infection and/or bacteremia, meningitis, and dental abscess.

Streptococcus Dysgalactiae Subspp. Equisilimis & Streptococcus Zooepidemicus: Clinical Syndromes

The symptoms of pharyngitis caused by these organisms mimic those of S pyogenes pharyngitis (Box 50-1; see also site). Poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis has been described following S dysgalactiae subspp. equisimilis and S zooepidemicus pharyngitis.

Other Gram-Positive Cocci

Viridans streptococci are part of the normal microbial flora of humans and animals and are indigenous to the upper respiratory tract, the female genital tract, all regions of the gastrointestinal tract, and, most significantly, the oral cavity. Clinically significant species that are currently recognized as belonging to the viridans group of streptococci include Streptococcus anginosus S constellatus, S cristatus, S gordonii, S intermedius, S oralis, S mitis, S mutans, S cricettus, S rattis, S parasanguis, S salivarius, S thermophilus, S sanguinis, S sobrinus, and S vestibularis. Detailed studies of the ecology of strains in the oral cavity and oropharynx have been performed.

Viridans Group Streptococci: Clinical Syndromes

Viridans streptococci have a strong association with bacterial endocarditis (see site) (Box 1). A defectiva and A adjacens were once an important cause of culture-negative endocarditis. However, current laboratory media and techniques enable these “nutritionally variant streptococci” to be identified more readily.

Enterococci: Clinical Syndromes

Urinary tract infections, including uncomplicated cystitis, pyelonephritis, prostatitis, and perinephric abscess, are the most common type of clinical infections produced by enterococci (Box 1). Most enterococcal urinary tract infections are nosocomial and are associated with urinary catheterization or instrumentation. Nosocomial enterococcal bacteremias are commonly polymicrobial. Portals of entry for enterococcal bacteremia include the urinary tract, intra-abdominal or pelvic sources, wounds (especially burns, decubitus ulcers, and diabetic foot infections), intravascular catheters, and the biliary tree.

Staphylococci

Staphylococcus aureus colonizes the human skin, vagina, nasopharynx, and gastrointestinal tract. Colonization occurs shortly after birth and may be either transient or persistent. Published studies differ widely in estimates of the prevalence of S aureus carriage.

Primary Bacteremia & Endocarditis

Staphylococci (both S aureus and CoNS) have emerged as the two most common organisms cultured from patients with primary bloodstream infections. The term “primary bacteremia” refers to positive blood cultures without an identifiable anatomic focus of infection. Differentiation of primary bacteremia from infective endocarditis (IE), in which infection of the cardiac valves leads to continuous bacterial seeding of the bloodstream, may challenge even the most experienced clinician. Primary S aureus bacteremia is associated with insulin-dependent diabetes, the presence of a vascular graft, and, most significantly, the presence of an indwelling intravascular catheter.

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