The challenge of antibiotic selection in prosthetic joint infections due to Corynebacterium striatum: a case report

Amber C. Streifel, Cara D. Varley, Young Yoon Ham, Monica K. Sikka, James S. Lewis

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1 Scopus citations


Background: Corynebacterium striatum is a gram-positive facultative anaerobe found in the environment and human flora that has historically been considered a contaminant. More recently, Corynebacterium striatum has been implicated in human infections, including respiratory infections, endocarditis, and bone and joint infections, particularly those involving hardware or implanted devices. Case presentation: A 65-year-old man presented for washout of his left total knee arthroplasty following a revision 20 days prior. The patient underwent debridement of his left total knee and revision of the left total femur arthroplasty. Daptomycin was initiated empirically due to a previous rash from vancomycin. Operative tissue cultures grew Staphylococcus haemolyticus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Corynebacterium striatum. Given concern for daptomycin resistance and the reliability of vancomycin susceptibility, daptomycin was discontinued and vancomycin initiated following a graded challenge. Within a few days, the patient developed a diffuse, blanching, erythematous, maculopapular rash and daptomycin was restarted. Over the next 72 h, his rash progressed and he met criteria for drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) syndrome. Daptomycin was stopped and oral linezolid initiated; rash improved. C. striatum returned with susceptibility to gentamicin, linezolid, vancomycin and daptomycin. Due to concern for adverse effects on long-term linezolid, daptomycin was restarted and was tolerated for 20 days, at which point purulent drainage from incision increased. The patient underwent another arthroplasty revision and washout. Operative cultures from this surgery were again positive for C. striatum. Repeat C. striatum susceptibilities revealed resistance to daptomycin but retained susceptibility to linezolid. Daptomycin was again changed to linezolid. He completed six weeks of linezolid followed by linezolid 600 mg daily for suppression and ultimately opted for disarticulation. Conclusions: C. striatum has historically been regarded as a contaminant, particularly when grown in tissue culture in the setting of prosthetic joint infection. Based on the available literature and susceptibility patterns, the most appropriate first-line therapy is vancomycin or linezolid. Treatment with daptomycin should be avoided, even when isolates appear susceptible, due to the risk of development of high-level resistance (MIC > 256 µg/mL) and clinical failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number290
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Corynebacterium striatum
  • Daptomycin
  • Prosthetic joint infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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