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Non Diphtheritic Corynebacteria: An Emerging Nosocomial Pathogen in Skin and Soft Tissue Infection.

INTRODUCTION: Non-diphtheritic corynebacteria are normal inhabitants of skin and mucous membrane. When isolated from clinical specimens they are often considered as contaminants. Recent reports suggest their role as emerging nosocomial pathogens.

AIM: To speciate non-diphtheritic corynebacteria isolated from wound specimens, to correlate their clinical significance and to determine their invitro antimicrobial susceptibilities to 9 antimicrobial agents.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty five non-diphtheritic corynebacteria from skin and soft tissue infections were selected for study. Isolates were identified by battery of tests and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was detected by Clinical & Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) described broth microdilution method. MIC was interpreted according CLSI and British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) guidelines.

RESULTS: C. amycolatum was the predominant species (20%) followed by C. striatum (16%). Penicillin was least effective invitro followed by clindamycin and ciprofloxacin. Excellent activities were shown by vancomycin, linezolid and imipenem. Multidrug resistance was found in all the species.

CONCLUSION: Non-diphtheritic corynebacteria are potential nosocomial pathogens among acute/chronic complicated skin and soft tissue infection. Vancomycin or linezolid can be used empirically to treat such infections until the invitro susceptibility results are available.

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