Metagenomic analysis for detecting pathogens in culture-negative infective endocarditis

J Infect Chemother. 2015 Dec;21(12):882-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jiac.2015.08.007. Epub 2015 Sep 8.


Pathogen identification is important for proper diagnosis and optimal treatment of infective endocarditis (IE). Blood and valve cultures are the gold standard for detecting pathogens responsible for IE. However, these tests only detect culturable pathogens, and have low sensitivity, especially in patients previously treated with antibiotics. Culture-negative IE is still a major clinical problem and a diagnostic challenge. Recently, metagenomic analysis using next generation sequencing has been used to detect pathogens directly from clinical samples. However, there are very few reports of the use of metagenomic analysis for pathogen identification in culture-negative IE cases and the usefulness of this new method is unknown. Here, we report a case of successful pathogen detection with metagenomic analysis in a patient of culture-negative IE. The patient underwent valve replacement surgery and received antibiotics for 5 weeks and survived. Using metagenomic analysis of resected vegetation, we detected Abiotrophia defectiva, which is often associated with culture-negative IE due to its fastidious growth. This method may be useful for pathogen identification in future cases of culture-negative IE.

Keywords: Abiotrophia defectiva; Culture-negative infective endocarditis; Metagenomic analysis; Next generation sequencing.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abiotrophia / genetics
  • Adult
  • Endocarditis / diagnosis*
  • Endocarditis / microbiology*
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / diagnosis*
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metagenomics / methods