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Rev Infect Dis. 1987 Nov-Dec;9(6):1168-74.

Prosthetic valve endocarditis due to small-colony staphylococcal variants.

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Department of Medicine, University of Tennessee, Memphis 38163.


Although Staphylococcus epidermidis is a major cause of prosthetic valve endocarditis, little is known about the pathogenesis of this disease. In one case described herein, small-colony variant forms of S. epidermidis were isolated from clinical specimens obtained from a patient with prosthetic valve endocarditis. Data from the rat model of experimental endocarditis provide further evidence that small-colony variants may be operative in the production of prosthetic valve infection. Moreover, a review of the literature indicates that small-colony variants could account for the subtle clinical course after prolonged dormant infection that characterizes S. epidermidis prosthetic valve endocarditis. It is therefore hypothesized that small-colony variants of S. epidermidis may play a role in the pathogenesis of prosthetic valve endocarditis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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