Diphtheroid bacilli are often found in the healthy mouth and pharynx. They also occur frequently on the skin and can be isolated from the nose and urogenital tract. They are ubiquitous saprophytes which only occasionally become pathogenic for man.
General infections caused by the diphtheroid bacilli in man are not common. Occasional cases have been reported in the literature. Schottmüller1 observed an anaerobic diphtheroid organism in cases of puerperal sepsis, and in otogenic bacteremias. There have been a few instances associated with both the acute and the more chronic forms of endocarditis,2 in which the diphtheroid organisms were isolated from the crushings of the vegetation from the valves. In various other infections, such as empyema,3 gangrene of an extremity,4 severe sore throat and vaginitis,5 in which diphtheroid organisms were isolated from the infected areas, the bacillus was also isolated from the blood stream. Aside from
KESSEL L, ROMANOFF A. GENERAL INFECTION WITH A DIPHTHEROID BACILLUS COMPLICATED BY DIPHTHEROID MENINGITIS. JAMA. 1930;94(21):1647-1648. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02710470011005