To date, only 6 sporadic Microbacterium species (formerly coryneform Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] groups A-4 and A-5) infections have been reported. The source, mode of transmission, morbidity, mortality, and potential for nosocomial transmission of Microbacterium species remain unknown. From 26 July through 14 August 1997, 8 episodes of coryneform CDC group A-5 symptomatic bacteremia occurred in 6 patients on the oncology ward at the Maine Medical Center. One patient died. All isolates were identified at CDC as Microbacterium species and had identical DNA banding patterns by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. To assess risk factors for Microbacterium species infection, a retrospective cohort study was conducted. The presence of a central venous catheter was the strongest risk factor (6/6 vs. 22/48; relative risk, 3.2; P<.0001). This outbreak demonstrates significant Microbacterium species-associated morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised populations and confirms the potential for epidemic nosocomial transmission.
Alonso-Echanove J, Shah SS, Valenti AJ, Dirrigl SN, Carson LA, Arduino MJ, Jarvis WR
J. Infect. Dis. 2001 Sep;184(6):754-60