Corynebacterium propinquum: A Rare Cause of Prosthetic Valve Endocarditis

Case Rep Med. 2016;2016:1391789. doi: 10.1155/2016/1391789. Epub 2016 Nov 7.


Nondiphtheria Corynebacterium species are often dismissed as culture contaminants, but they have recently become increasingly recognized as pathologic organisms. We present the case of a 48-year-old male patient on chronic prednisone therapy for rheumatoid arthritis with a history of mitral valve replacement with prosthetic valve. He presented with fever, dizziness, dyspnea on exertion, intermittent chest pain, and palpitations. Transesophageal echocardiography revealed two medium-sized densities along the inner aspect of the sewing ring and one larger density along the atrial surface of the sewing ring consistent with vegetation. Two separate blood cultures grew Corynebacterium propinquum, which were sensitive to ceftriaxone but highly resistant to vancomycin and daptomycin. The patient completed a course of ceftriaxone and repeat TEE study and after 6 weeks demonstrated near complete resolution of the vegetation. To our knowledge, this case represents the first in the literature of Corynebacterium propinquum causing prosthetic valve endocarditis. The ability of these organisms to cause deep-seated systemic infections should be recognized, especially in immune-compromised patients.