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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2010 Sep;16(9):1448-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2009.03085.x.

Infections caused by Gordonia species at a medical centre in Taiwan, 1997 to 2008.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Cardinal Tien Hospital, Taipei County, Taipei, Taiwan.


The inability of conventional identification systems to accurately identify Gordonia spp. often results in the misdiagnosis of infections by these rare pathogens, which require genomic sequencing for precise identification. In the present study, we describe nine cases of the various types of infection caused by Gordonia spp. From 1997 to 2008, 66 isolates (from 30 patients) initially identified as Rhodoccus spp. by conventional biochemical methods, by the Bacteriology Laboratory of National Taiwan University Hospital, were retrospectively analysed to assess the accuracy of species identification. Fifteen of these isolates (from nine patients) were later found to be Gordonia spp. by two molecular methods: PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism for heat shock protein gene (hsp65) and the 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis. Gordonia sputi (n = 8) was the most common species, followed by Gordonia terrae (n = 7). Most of the isolates were isolated from blood (n = 11), followed by soft tissue (n = 2) and eye (n = 2). Five patients presented with bacteraemia and two of these had catheter-related bloodstream infection. Two patients had soft tissue infections and another two patients had infective keratitis and conjunctivitis. The random amplified polymorphic DNA patterns for isolates from different patients were different, indicating that they were genetically unrelated. Accurate identification with molecular methods is required if the role of Gordonia spp. in causing infection is to be recognized.

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