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      Legionella longbeachae and Endocarditis

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          We report a case of infectious endocarditis attributable to Legionella longbeachae. L. longbeachae is usually associated with lung infections. It is commonly found in composted waste wood products. L. longbeachae should be regarded as an agent of infectious endocarditis, notably in the context of gardening involving handling of potting soils.

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          Most cited references 16

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          16S ribosomal DNA amplification for phylogenetic study.

          A set of oligonucleotide primers capable of initiating enzymatic amplification (polymerase chain reaction) on a phylogenetically and taxonomically wide range of bacteria is described along with methods for their use and examples. One pair of primers is capable of amplifying nearly full-length 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) from many bacterial genera; the additional primers are useful for various exceptional sequences. Methods for purification of amplified material, direct sequencing, cloning, sequencing, and transcription are outlined. An obligate intracellular parasite of bovine erythrocytes, Anaplasma marginale, is used as an example; its 16S rDNA was amplified, cloned, sequenced, and phylogenetically placed. Anaplasmas are related to the genera Rickettsia and Ehrlichia. In addition, 16S rDNAs from several species were readily amplified from material found in lyophilized ampoules from the American Type Culture Collection. By use of this method, the phylogenetic study of extremely fastidious or highly pathogenic bacterial species can be carried out without the need to culture them. In theory, any gene segment for which polymerase chain reaction primer design is possible can be derived from a readily obtainable lyophilized bacterial culture.
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            Contribution of systematic serological testing in diagnosis of infective endocarditis.

            Despite progress with diagnostic criteria, the type and timing of laboratory tests used to diagnose infective endocarditis (IE) have not been standardized. This is especially true with serological testing. Patients with suspected IE were evaluated by a standard diagnostic protocol. This protocol mandated an evaluation of the patients according to the modified Duke criteria and used a battery of laboratory investigations, including three sets of blood cultures and systematic serological testing for Coxiella burnetii, Bartonella spp., Aspergillus spp., Legionella pneumophila, and rheumatoid factor. In addition, cardiac valvular materials obtained at surgery were subjected to a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, including PCR aimed at documenting the presence of fastidious organisms. The study included 1,998 suspected cases of IE seen over a 9-year period from April 1994 to December 2004 in Marseilles, France. They were evaluated prospectively. A total of 427 (21.4%) patients were diagnosed as having definite endocarditis. Possible endocarditis was diagnosed in 261 (13%) cases. The etiologic diagnosis was established in 397 (93%) cases by blood cultures, serological tests, and examination of the materials obtained from cardiac valves, respectively, in 348 (81.5%), 34 (8%), and 15 (3.5%) definite cases of IE. Concomitant infection with streptococci and C. burnetii was seen in two cases. The results of serological and rheumatoid factor evaluation reclassified 38 (8.9%) possible cases of IE as definite cases. Systematic serological testing improved the performance of the modified Duke criteria and was instrumental in establishing the etiologic diagnosis in 8% (34/427) cases of IE.
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              Diagnosis of infectious endocarditis in patients undergoing valve surgery.

              Histologic examination of valve samples is considered as the gold standard for the diagnosis of infectious endocarditis. Molecular tools are also very promising for patients with negative-culture endocarditis. Thus, we studied the contribution of valvular histology, culture, and 16S rRNA PCR amplification plus sequencing to the diagnosis of infectious endocarditis in patients undergoing valve surgery. We performed culture, histological examination, and broad-range PCR amplification plus sequencing on valve samples taken from 127 patients with infectious endocarditis and from 118 patients without endocarditis. The sensitivity and specificity of these tests for the diagnosis of endocarditis in patients undergoing valve surgery were studied. The sensitivity of PCR was of 61% (64/105) whereas that of histological examination was of 63% (62/98) and that of valve culture was of only 13% (14/105). All 68 positive PCR results considered reliable according to an interpretation scheme were from patients with infectious endocarditis, resulting in a 100% (118/118) specificity of the interpreted molecular approach. The specificity of histology was also of 100% (118/118) when using stringent criteria (ie, presence of vegetation, microorganisms, and/or valvular inflammation with mainly polymorphonuclear cells). PCR identified an etiological agent in 38% (5/13) of definite blood culture-negative infectious endocarditis. We show that valvular histology with stringent criteria is the gold standard for the diagnosis of infectious endocarditis. Broad-range amplification of 16S rRNA gene is indicated for infectious endocarditis of unknown etiology, whereas valve culture is of limited sensitivity.

                Author and article information

                Emerg Infect Dis
                Emerging Infectious Diseases
                Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
                January 2012
                : 18
                : 1
                : 95-97
                Centre Hospitalier-Universitaire de La Timone, Marseille, France
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Didier Raoult, Laboratoire de Microbiologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de La Timone, 264 Rue Saint Pierre, 13385 Marseille Cedex 5, France; email: didier.raoult@


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