Corynebacterium spp. are Gram-positive, aerobic bacteria of the Corynebacteriaceae family. They occur in nature (e.g. soils and water) and are often part of the normal human and animal skin flora and mucous membranes. Corynebacterium spp. may trigger pharyngitis and endocarditis as well as infection of the prostate, gastrointestinal tract and the skin. Some species also occur in the context of nosocomial infections. And some corynebacteria are pathogenic to animals.
Well-known species are Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, Corynebacterium ulcerans and Corynebacterium jeikeium. Less important is Corynebacterium mucifaciens.
Main transmission path is direct or indirect contact with contaminated persons or objects. Some species are transmitted via droplets or particles in the air (e.g. C. ulcerans and C. diphtheriae).
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