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Pyelonephritis and Septicemia Due to Gram-Positive Rods Similar to Corynebacterium Group E (Aerotolerant Bifidobacterium adolescentis)

FRANK GUILLARD, M.D.; PETER C. APPELBAUM, M.D.; and FRANCIS B. SPARROW, B.A.
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The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine; Hershey, Pennsylvania


Ann Intern Med. 1980;92(5):635-636. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-92-5-635
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The genus Corynebacterium comprises aerobic, nonsporing, gram-positive rods. These organisms are common saprophytic inhabitants of the skin/mucous membranes, infrequently causing serious infections in humans (1). Systemic infection can occur, especially in patients with malignancy, immunosuppression, damaged heart valves, as a result of broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy, or break in skin/mucous membranes (1-3). Endocarditis, septicemia, osteomyelitis, meningitis, pneumonia, and soft tissue infections have been reported in such patients (1-3). The precise role of corynebacteria in the pathogenesis of urinary tract infection is unknown. This paper describes a case of pyelonephritis and septicemia due to a diphtheroid-like organism similar to Corynebacterium group E.

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