Microbiology of polymicrobial prosthetic joint infection

Laure Flurin, Kerryl E. Greenwood-Quaintance, Robin Patel

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16 Scopus citations


Prosthetic joint infection (PJI) is a rare but challenging complication of arthroplasty. Herein, we describe the epidemiology and microbiology of PJI, with a focus on analyzing differences between the microbiology of polymicrobial versus monomicrobial infection of hip, knee, and shoulder prostheses. In addition, we report the most frequent co-pathogens in polymicrobial infections, as detected by culture. A total of 373 patients diagnosed with PJI at Mayo Clinic were studied. For hip and knee arthroplasties, a higher proportion of fractures (P = 0.02) and a shorter time between the implantation and symptom onset (P < 0.0001) were noted in polymicrobial versus monomicrobial PJI. The most common microorganism detected, Staphylococcus epidermidis, was more frequently detected in polymicrobial (60%) versus monomicrobial (35%) PJI (P = 0.0067). Among polymicrobial infections, no co-pathogens were more frequently found than others, except S. epidermidis and Enterococcus faecalis which were found together in 5 cases. In addition to coagulase-negative staphylococci and enterococci, Corynebacterium species and Finegoldia magna were common in polymicrobial infections. Conversely, there was no difference between the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus, Gram-negative bacilli, or Cutibacterium acnes between the polymicrobial and monomicrobial groups. The microbiology of polymicrobial PJI is different from that of monomicrobial PJI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDiagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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