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Corynebacterium striatum Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Device Infection

Helbig, Sina MD*; Brecher, Stephen M. PhD*†; Serrao, Richard MD*‡

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: November 2013 - Volume 21 - Issue 6 - p 401–404
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e31827f44ba
Case Report

We present a case of a 77-year-old male with persistent gram-positive non–spore-forming bacillus bacteremia that developed several months after a right femoral-popliteal bypass for critical limb ischemia and a nonhealing toe amputation site. He required an implantable cardioverter defibrillator concomitantly for secondary prevention of ventricular fibrillation. Initially suspected to be a contaminant and subsequently growing from the implantable cardioverter defibrillator leads, all isolates were identified as Corynebacterium striatum. The patient was successfully treated with a prolonged course of antibiotics and explantation of the defibrillator. This represents the first case reported in the literature of Corynebacterium striatum cardiovascular implantable electronic device infection from an apparent noncontiguous source. Multiple isolates of indistinguishable diphtheroids from multiple blood cultures in patients with implantable devices should be considered clinically significant.

From the *Division of Infectious Diseases, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston; and Division of Infectious Diseases, Departments of †Microbiology and ‡Medicine, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, West Roxbury, MA.

Correspondence to: Richard Serrao, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, 1400 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, MA 02132, MA. E-mail:

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

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.