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Haemolytic differential identification of Arcanobacterium haemolyticum isolated from a patient with diabetic foot ulcers.

JMM Case Reports 2016 Februrary
INTRODUCTION: Arcanobacterium haemolyticum (formerly known as Corynebacterium haemolyticum) is the causative agent of sore throat and also causes skin and soft tissue infections in diabetes patients. A. haemolyticum is a Gram-positive, catalase-negative, β-haemolytic bacillus. A. haemolyticum poses a diagnostic challenge in the hospital laboratory because most coryneform bacilli are considered as normal flora or contaminants, and it is therefore difficult to differentiate from β-haemolytic streptococci by colony characteristics.

CASE PRESENTATION: A. haemolyticum was isolated from a diabetic patient with foot ulcers and the isolate was identified by using a VITEK-2 system, CAMP inhibition test, reverse CAMP test and a 23S rRNA gene sequence analysis. The isolated A. haemolyticum inhibited haemolysis of Staphylococcus aureus in the CAMP test and enhanced haemolysis of Streptococcus agalactiae in the reverse CAMP test. The diabetic patient was treated with teicoplanin and imipenem, and the ulcers healed within 2 weeks.

CONCLUSION: The present study suggests that a haemolytic differential method using the CAMP inhibition and reverse CAMP tests can be useful for differentiating A. haemolyticum from β-haemolytic streptococci.

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