Corynebacterium spp. Pneumonia in ICU, A Case Series

Background: Corynebacterium are a gram-positive genus of bacteria famously known for his member C. diphtheriae, the primary cause of diphtheria. They are part of the normal skin microbiota and mucous membranes. These well-known contaminants of clinical materials have been increasingly recognized as causing opportunistic infections. Nondiphtheria Corynebacterium spp. have been implicated in community-acquired, hospital-acquired and ventilator associated pneumonia in immunocompromised patients or whose upper airways were bypassed (e.g., mechanical ventilation, tracheostomy).

Cases: Between January 2019 and March 2021, we identified a total of nine Corynebacterium spp. isolated in respiratory samples from seven patients.

Results: We reported three cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), two cases of hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) and three colonizations. One patient had a VAP caused by two different Corynebacterium spp. and one patient was diagnosed with two C. striatum VAP during hospital stay. There were no isolations classified as infections from January 2019 until April 2020, prior to COVID-19 pandemic: all infections reported were diagnosed in patients admitted for SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.

Keywords: Corynebacterium, ICU, pneumonia, COVID-19

Citation: Guerreiro G, Morais L, Costa V, Cunha R, Toscano C, Gonçalves E, Coelho L, Povoa P. “Corynebacterium spp. Pneumonia in ICU, A Case Series”. SVOA Microbiology 2:2 (2021) Pages 26-31.