JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Coryneform bacteria in infectious diseases: clinical and laboratory aspects.

Coryneform isolates from clinical specimens frequently cannot be identified by either reference laboratories or research laboratories. Many of these organisms are skin flora that belong to a large number of taxonomic groups, only 40% of which are in the genus Corynebacterium. This review provides an update on clinical presentations, microbiological features, and pathogenic mechanisms of infections with nondiphtheria Corynebacterium species and other pleomorphic gram-positive rods. The early literature is also reviewed for a few coryneforms, especially those whose roles as pathogens are controversial. Recognition of newly emerging opportunistic coryneforms is dependent on sound identification schemes which cannot be developed until cell wall analyses and nucleic acid studies have defined the taxonomic groups and all of the reference strains within each taxon have been shown by molecular methods to be authentic members. Only then can reliable batteries of biochemical tests be selected for distinguishing each taxon.

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