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J Med Microbiol. 2010 Dec;59(Pt 12):1395-402. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.021709-0. Epub 2010 Sep 30.

Drug sensitivity and clinical impact of members of the genus Kocuria.

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Clinical Microbiology and Virology, Department of Transfusion Medicine, Spirito Santo Hospital, Pescara (Pe), Italy.


Organisms in the genus Kocuria are Gram-positive, coagulase-negative, coccoid actinobacteria belonging to the family Micrococcaceae, suborder Micrococcineae, order Actinomycetales. Sporadic reports in the literature have dealt with infections by Kocuria species, mostly in compromised hosts with serious underlying conditions. Nonetheless, the number of infectious processes caused by such bacteria may be higher than currently believed, given that misidentification by phenotypic assays has presumably affected estimates of the prevalence over the years. As a further cause for concern, guidelines for therapy of illnesses involving Kocuria species are lacking, mostly due to the absence of established criteria for evaluating Kocuria replication or growth inhibition in the presence of antibiotics. Therefore, breakpoints for staphylococci have been widely used throughout the literature to try to understand this pathogen's behaviour under drug exposure; unfortunately, this has sometimes created confusion, thus higlighting the urgent need for specific interpretive criteria, along with a deeper investigation into the resistance determinants within this genus. We therefore review the published data on cultural, genotypic and clinical aspects of the genus Kocuria, aiming to shed some light on these emerging nosocomial pathogens.

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