Bacteremia due to a newly described species of Corynebacterium was identified in 12 patients during a two-year period. Infection occurred after a long period of hospitalization, extended granulocytopenia, and treatment with several antibiotics. Breaks in the mucocutaneous surfaces were the origin of infection in eight patients. All patients had evidence of colonization reported by cultures before infection. The invading organism caused death in three patients. Vancomycin hydrochloride was the antibiotic of choice. Corynebacterium is increasingly recognized as a primary cause of morbidity and mortality of patients with tumors.
(JAMA 238:1737-1740, 1977)