Case Report| Volume 26, ISSUE 3, P194-196, September 2022

A case series of Corynebacterium striatum native valve infective endocarditis


      Corynebacterium species isolated in blood cultures are commonly dismissed as a contaminant. They are also recognized as an uncommon pathogen in infective endocarditis. We report two cases of native valve endocarditis due to Corynebacterium striatum. The first patient, a 36-year-old female with hemolytic anemia, whose risk factor for endocarditis was a Port-a-Cath (Smiths Medical, Los Angeles, California) used for routine blood transfusions. She was diagnosed with triple valve endocarditis via transthoracic echocardiogram. Her multiple comorbidities made her a poor surgical candidate for valve replacement and she elected to go on hospice care after antibiotic treatment completion. The second patient, a 46-year-old, was found to have coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia in addition to persistent Corynebacterium striatum bacteremia. A transthoracic echocardiogram was highly suggestive of aortic valve endocarditis. A confirmatory transesophageal echocardiogram was unable to be obtained given his clinical instability and COVID-19 status. Unfortunately, this patient expired due to complications of severe COVID-19 pneumonia. We highlight the need for prompt recognition of risk factors of infective endocarditis due to uncommon pathogens that may aid in the diagnosis and treatment, while utilizing a multidisciplinary approach.

      Learning objective

      The aim of this case series is to emphasize the importance of Corynebacterium species as a cause of native valve infectious endocarditis and to illustrate the challenges it poses in diagnosis and management.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of Cardiology Cases
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Bernard K.
        The genus Corynebacterium and other medically relevant coryneform-like bacteria.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2012; 50: 3152-3158
        • Ishiwada N.
        • Watanabe M.
        • Murata S.
        • Takeuchi N.
        • Taniguchi T.
        • Igari H.
        Clinical and bacteriological analyses of bacteremia due to Corynebacterium striatum.
        J Infect Chemother. 2016; 22: 790-793
        • Leal S.M.
        • Jones M.
        • Gilligan P.H.
        Clinical significance of commensal Gram-positive rods routinely isolated from patient samples.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2016; 54: 2928-2936
        • Belmares J.
        • Detterline S.
        • Pak J.B.
        • Parada J.P.
        Corynebacterium endocarditis species-specific risk factors and outcomes.
        BMC Infect Dis. 2007; 7: 4
        • Rasmussen M.
        • Mohlin A.W.
        • Nilson B.
        From contamination to infective endocarditis – a population based retrospective study of Corynebacterium isolated from blood cultures.
        Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2020; 39: 113-119
        • Cresti A.
        • Chiavarelli M.
        • Scalese M.
        • Nencioni C.
        • Valentini S.
        • Guerrini F.
        • et al.
        Epidemiological and mortality trends in infective endocarditis, a 17-year population-based prospective study.
        Cardiovasc Diagn Ther. 2017; 7: 27-35
        • Wang A.
        • Gaca J.
        • Chu V.
        Management considerations in infective endocarditis.
        JAMA. 2018; 320: 72-83
        • Li J.S.
        • Sexton D.J.
        • Mick N.
        • Nettles R.
        • Fowler V.G.
        • Ryan T.
        • et al.
        Proposed modifications to the Duke criteria for the diagnosis of infective endocarditis.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2000; 30: 633-638
        • Marasovic S.
        • Mutha V.
        • Sharma N.
        • Rudd N.
        • Jolic M.
        • Adel A.
        • et al.
        Infective endocarditis: fulfilling the modified Duke criteria and clinical outcomes.
        Heart Lung Circ. 2012; 21: 253
        • Baddour L.M.
        • Wilson W.R.
        • Bayer A.S.
        • Fowler V.G.
        • Tleyjeh I.M.
        • Rybak M.J.
        • et al.
        Infective endocarditis in adults: diagnosis, antimicrobial therapy, and management of complications: a scientific statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association.
        Circulation. 2015; 132: 1435-1486