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Staphylococcal Endocarditis in Parenteral Drug Abusers: Source of the Organism

CARMELITA U. TUAZON, M.D.; and JOHN N. SHEAGREN, M.D., F.A.C.P.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: in part by grant no. AI 10557, National Institutes of Health.

Presented in part at the American Federation for Clinical Research Meeting, Eastern Section, Boston, Massachusetts, 11-12 January 1974, and at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, San Francisco, California, 11-13 September 1974.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Carmelita U. Tuazon, M.D., Infectious Disease Unit, D.C. General Hospital, 19th and E. Sts., S.E., Washington, DC 20003.


Washington, D. C.


Ann Intern Med. 1975;82(6):788-790. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-82-6-788
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Because approximately one third of persons injecting illicit drugs carry Staphylococcus aureus in their nose and throat or on the skin, we wondered if the carrier was the person in the drug-injecting population at risk of developing endocarditis. If so, patients with drug-related, staphylococcal endocarditis should have a very high carriage rate of the organism when first admitted to the hospital. Ten such patients were studied within 3 days of admission, and all were carriers of S. aureus. In each case, the phage type of the carried organism matched that of the organism recovered from the blood.

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