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Clin Microbiol Rev. 1988 Jul;1(3):281-99.

Laboratory, clinical, and epidemiological aspects of coagulase-negative staphylococci.

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  • 1Veterans Administration Medical Center, Iowa City, Iowa.


Coagulase-negative staphylococci, particularly Staphylococcus epidermidis, are increasingly important causes of nosocomial infection. Microbiologists and clinicians no longer can afford to disregard clinical isolates of coagulase-negative staphylococci as contaminants. Accurate species identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing, in a clinically relevant time frame, are important aids in the diagnosis and management of serious coagulase-negative staphylococcal infections. Emphasis in the clinical laboratory should be placed on the routine identification of S. epidermidis and Staphylococcus saprophyticus, with identification of other species of coagulase-negative staphylococci as clinically indicated. The application of newer techniques, such as plasmid analysis and tests for slime production and adherence, contribute to our understanding of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of coagulase-negative staphylococci and may also be helpful in establishing the diagnosis of infection.

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