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BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2018 Oct 19;18(1):195. doi: 10.1186/s12872-018-0929-7.

Native valve endocarditis due to Escherichia coli infection: a case report and review of the literature.

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Department of General Medicine, National Hospital Organization Shibukawa Medical Center, 383 Shiroi, Shibukawa, Gunma, 377-0280, Japan.
Department of Medicine and Biological Science, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, 3-39-22 Showa-machi, Maebashi, Gunma, 371-8511, Japan.



Infective endocarditis due to Escherichia coli is a rare disease but is increasing in frequency, especially among older women. In addition, its mortality rate is higher than that of endocarditis due to the HACEK-group gram-negative bacteria (Haemophilus spp., Aggregatibacter spp., Cardiobacterium hominis, Eikenella corrodens, and Kingela spp.).


A 58-year-old Japanese woman with a history of alcohol abuse was admitted to our hospital because of a fever. She was diagnosed with infective endocarditis due to E. coli based on repeated blood cultures and transthoracic echocardiography, which revealed vegetations attached to the anterior leaflet and chordae tendineae of the mitral valve. Despite administration of sulbactam/ampicillin and gentamycin, she developed purulent spondylitis during hospitalization and required treatment with meropenem administration for 6 weeks, leading to resolution of the endocarditis. She took oral levofloxacin for 2 months, and the spondylitis was completely cured 7 months after discharge.


Escherichia coli affects native valves without degenerative valvulopathy rather than prosthetic valves, especially in patients with risk factors such as an immunosuppressive status, excessive alcohol consumption, or treatment with hemodialysis. Peripheral embolization, congestive heart failure, and valve-ring abscesses are major complications of E. coli endocarditis; notably, infective myocarditis can also occur. The mortality and surgical intervention rates are 21% and 42%, respectively. Physicians should be cognizant of the necessity of surgical intervention when E. coli endocarditis is resistant to antibiotic therapy.


Escherichia coli; Excessive alcohol consumption; Infective endocarditis; Purulent spondylitis

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