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Mycobacterium abscessus Prosthetic Valve Endocarditis: Uncommon but Still Incurable

Bush, Larry M. MD*; Paturi, Anil MD; Tower, Albree F. BA; Chaparro-Rojas, Fredy MD; Perez, Maria T. MD§

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: May 2011 - Volume 19 - Issue 3 - p 210-212
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e3181eafc05
Case Reports

Mycobacterial infective prosthetic valve endocarditis (PVE) is an uncommon and almost uniformly fatal disease. Most reported cases involve members of the nontuberculous mycobacterium group of organisms classified as rapid growers. Presumably, infection is related to health care-associated events occurring around the time of surgery, either as a result of surgical contamination with nontuberculous mycobacterium-containing water sources or via hematogenous seeding from an infected central venous catheter. Prolonged antimicrobial combination therapy, with or without valve replacement, generally fails in eradicating the infection. We present a case of Mycobacterium abscessus PVE diagnosed approximately 2 months after cardiac valve surgery, which was necessitated by valvular insufficiency resulting from recent enterococcal endocarditis. As in the few previously reported M. abscessus PVE cases, the patient did not survive.

From the *Division of Infectious Diseases, JFK Medical Center, University of Miami-Miller School of Medicine/Florida Atlantic University; †JFK Medical Center, University of Miami-Miller School of Medicine/Florida Atlantic University; ‡University of Miami-Miller School of Medicine/Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton; and §Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Wellington Regional Medical Center, Wellington, FL.

Correspondence to: Larry M. Bush, MD, Atlantis Medical Center, Suite 104, 5503 S Congress Ave, Atlantis, FL. E-mail:

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.