Infectious endocarditis caused by Gemella haemolysans: clinical issues and treatment approaches

Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2017; 19(4):335-340

Journal article


Gemella haemolysans is a commensal of the human oral cavity, upper respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal tract, which in some cases can cause serious infections, including infective endocarditis (IE). IE caused by G. haemolysans is more common in men with congenital heart disease and/or prosthetic valves. G. haemolysans IE is associated with dental interventions and can be successfully treated with a combination of penicillins and aminoglycosides; however, a surgery is often required. This article provides a literature review and our own observations, including a clinical case of G. haemolysans IE in a 38-year-old man with a bicuspid aortic valve and gallbladder polyps. Despite the combination antibacterial therapy, infection in this patient managed to spread from the aortic to the mitral valve and, eventually, led to the abscess formation. This is a rare example of the rapid and aggressive course of infection caused by G. haemolysans.

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