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December 7, 1963


JAMA. 1963;186(10):947. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03710100085021

Because of taxonomic uncertainty and wrong identification, bacteria of the apparently abundant tribe Mimeae have long been overlooked. Recently, however, serious infections due to Mima polymorpha and Herellea vaginicola are being reported with increasing frequency. In this issue of The Journal (p 950) a team of dermatologists from the University of Miami, Fla, report the finding of these bacteria on the normal skin of more than 20% of subjects studied. These investigators indicate that Mima-Herellea are among the most predominant gram-negative bacteria on the skin and may persist in such sites as the axillae and toe web. This previously unreported reservoir—the normal skin—should be considered as a primary source of infection. The report cautions, further, that proper treatment can not be instituted unless this group of bacteria is correctly identified.

The presence of Mima-Herellea on the skin has important implications for preoperative skin-preparation procedures. As a culture site, the University