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Isolation and Characterization of Corynebacteria from Burned Children

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  • Clinical Microbiology And Immunology
  • Medicine


A total of 221 strains of corynebacteria were isolated and characterized by methods which included tests encompassing five schemes proposed for grouping cutaneous diphtheroids. Seventy-one strains (group I) were isolated from the hospital air in patient areas and from the normal skins of children admitted for reconstructive surgery of old healed burns and from the normal skins of nursing personnel. One hundred and fifty strains (group II) were isolated from various clinical specimens and from normal skins of a population of acutely burned children. The majority of the strains in group I were lipophilic and contained the largest number of fluorescent strains. Among the group II strains, there was a subgroup which was nonsusceptible to oxacillin, lincomycin, erythromycin, and kanamycin and also had in common the fermentation of glucose and galactose, reduction of both nitrate and nitrite, and growth on 40% bile agar. These strains were the most commonly recognized types isolated from acutely burned patients and possibly originated from the patient's intestinal tract. Data indicated that the air was not a means of transmission for these corynebacteria among acute patients. Corynebacteria were isolated from 11% of the burn wound cultures by using a selective medium but were found in 66% of the acute patients. Over 90% of the strains in groups I and II did not conform sufficiently with described characteristics of common human indigenous corynebacteria to be accurately speciated.

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