A Case of Polymicrobial Endocarditis Caused by Anaerobic Organisms in an Injection Drug User


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Endocarditis is a serious complication of injection drug use most commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus. We report a case of tricuspid valve polymicrobial bacterial endocarditis in an injection drug user from 3 oral anaerobes: Actinomyces odontolytica, Veillonella species, and Prevotella melaninogenica. The patient was believed to have acquired these organisms from his habit of licking the needle in order to gauge the strength of the cocaine prior to injection. The patient was successfully treated with a 6-week course of penicillin G and metronidazole. This case demonstrates the importance of a detailed history in designing empiric therapy.