Porcelain-white colonies of Staphylococcus
albus in cultures from patients usually
are dismissed as nonpathogenic commensals
or as contaminants. The recent
occurrence of S. albus septicemia in three
patients after valvulotomy for mitral stenosis
led us to reexamine this subject.
Reviews of subacute bacterial endocarditis
both in the past and recently show that
approximately 1% of cases are caused by
S. albus. A survey36 of cases of staphylococcal
bacteremia at this hospital in
the years 1936 to 1955 showed that 5 of
the 338 cases were caused by this organism.
The criteria used for the diagnosis of S.
albus septicemia in this study are that the
organism should be isolated on two or
more occasions from the blood of a sick
person with evidence of generalized disease
and that no other pathogens should be
isolated from the blood. S. albus has for
the purpose of this study been accepted as