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Infection. 2008 Aug;36(4):314-21. doi: 10.1007/s15010-008-7287-9. Epub 2008 Jul 21.

Significance of Staphylococcus lugdunensis bacteremia: report of 28 cases and review of the literature.

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Division of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology, Dept. of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Zurich, Rämistrasse 100/RAE U 74, CH-8091, Zürich, Switzerland.



Staphylococcus lugdunensis endocarditis has been associated with an aggressive course. The aim of this study was to determine factors associated with the development of endocarditis in patients with S. lugdunensis bacteremia.


A retrospective analysis of all patients with S. lugdunensis bacteremia in three tertiary care centers in Switzerland was performed. Data regarding medical history, symptoms, and susceptibility of S. lugdunensis isolates were collected. Our results were reviewed in the context of the current literature.


A total of 28 patients with S. lugdunensis bacteremia were identified. Of the 13 patients with endocarditis, all were community acquired. Cardiac surgery was performed in 85% of these patients; mortality was 23%, reflecting the aggressive course of this disease. In contrast, in the 15 patients without endocarditis, no complications associated with S. lugdunensis bacteremia were observed. In 73%, a probable source was identified in the form of a venous catheter or other foreign device. Only three of these episodes were community acquired. No difference was observed in susceptibility of the S. lugdunensis isolates to penicillin, which was 77% in endocarditis isolates, and 87% in isolates of bacteremia without endocarditis, respectively.


S. lugdunensis bacteremia is associated with endocarditis in up to 50% of patients. Every patient with community-acquired S. lugdunensis bacteremia should be carefully examined for signs of endocarditis. Once S. lugdunensis endocarditis is diagnosed, close monitoring is essential and surgical treatment should be considered early. In the nosocomial setting, endocarditis is far less frequent, and S. lugdunensis bacteremia is usually associated with a catheter or other foreign materials.

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