Clin Microbiol Infect 2012; 18: 546–550
Aerococcus urinae is a Gram-positive bacterium that can cause invasive infection, including infectious endocarditis (IE), mainly in older men. A. urinae is often misclassified in routine diagnostic laboratories. Through searches in the laboratory databases we identify 16 isolates of A. urinae causing bacteraemia during a 6-year period in southern Sweden, indicating that bacteraemia with A. urinae occurs in at least three cases per million inhabitants per year. The identity of isolates was confirmed by sequencing of the 16S rRNA genes and antibiotic susceptibility testing identified two ciprofloxacin-resistant isolates. A. urinae was the only significant pathogen isolated in all cases. Fifteen of the 16 patients were male, 15/16 were more than 70 years old, and 12/16 had underlying urological conditions. Though a urinary tract focus was suspected in the majority of cases, the bacterium was rarely found in urinary samples. Nine patients fulfilled the criteria for severe sepsis and an additional four fulfilled the criteria for sepsis. Only one fatality was recorded. Patients were treated mainly with beta-lactam antibiotics but fluoroquinolones and clindamycin were also used. Three cases of IE were diagnosed and these were complicated by spondylodiscitis in one case and by septic embolization to the brain in one case. An increased awareness of A. urinae is crucial to establishing its role as an important pathogen in older men with urinary tract disease.