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March 1981

Human-to-Human Transmission of Staphylococcus aureus Endocarditis

Arch Intern Med. 1981;141(4):546. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340040142039

To the Editor.  —In their recent report in the Archives (1980; 140:111-112), Drs Scalcini and Sanders described the simultaneous occurrence of Staphylococcus aureus endocarditis in two drug addicts sharing the same paraphernalia. The source of infection was thought to be the addicts themselves, since infected addicts have been shown to be carriers of S aureus,1 while randomly confiscated drug paraphernalia from noninfected addicts has not yielded pathogens when cultured.2 The authors, however, did not eliminate the patients' own shared paraphernalia as the possible source of infection. We recently reported that paraphernalia obtained from an infected drug addict with Candida parapsilosis endocarditis may have been the source of the causative organism.3 Most recently, we studied a married couple, both addicts, who were colonized with an identical nasal phage type of S aureus; endocarditis caused by the same staphylococcal phage type developed in the husband. We were unable to

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