Key Points

1. The etiologic agents of IE vary between centers due to different risk factor profiles in the patient populations served.

2. Staphylococci and Streptococcus species are the most common etiologic agents of endocarditis, accounting for 80-90% of cases in most patient populations.

3. The proportion of IE cases caused by Staphylococcus aureus has been increasing due to higher numbers of patients with either health-care-associated IE or a history of intravenous drug use.

4. In addition to appropriately collected blood cultures, microbiologic laboratory techniques useful for determining the causative agents of IE include histology, serologic testing, and molecular diagnostic methods.

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