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Species identities and antimicrobial susceptibilities of corynebacteria isolated from various clinical sources.

Over a 14-month period, 415 clinical isolates of coryneform gram-positive rods were recovered from various sources and identified to the species level according to recent identification schemes. Corynebacterium urealyticum, Corynebacterium striatum, Corynebacterium amycolatum, and Corynebacterium jeikeium predominated, accounting for 63% of all isolates. Corynebacterium accolens, Corynebacterium striatum, Corynebacterium argentoratense, Corynebacterium propinquum and Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum were mostly recovered from the respiratory tract, whereas Corynebacterium afermentans, CDC group G, and Corynebacterium jeikeium were mainly isolated from blood. None of the isolates was identified as Corynebacterium diphtheriae or Corynebacterium xerosis. Ampicillin resistance was detected in Corynebacterium jeikeium (96%) and Corynebacterium urealyticum (99%) and varied among Corynebacterium amycolatum (56%) and CDC group G (26%). These data emphasize the need for an accurate identification of coryneform organisms at the species level and for antimicrobial susceptibility testing of these organisms.

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