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December 6, 1965

Mimeae: Opportunistic Pathogens: A Review of Infections in a Cancer Hospital

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pathology (Drs. Green and Shively) and surgery (Dr. Johnson), University of Texas M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, Houston. Dr. Johnson is now with the National Cancer Institute, Surgery Branch, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

JAMA. 1965;194(10):1065-1068. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090230033008

Infections caused by bacteria of the tribe Mimeae were reviewed. Mima polymorpha or Herellea vaginicola was isolated by culture from 56 living patients and 9 autopsy cases, with pure cultures of these organisms from 11 living patients. Mimeae were found to be opportunistic pathogens with a highly variable degree of virulence. In three febrile patients, blood cultures yielded a pure growth of H vaginicola, establishing the apparent pathogenicity of these organisms. Many of the infections were associated with an iatrogenic portal of entry, such as an intravascular catheter, with over half of the 18 wound infections occurring in head- and neck-surgery cases. Sodium colistimethate, kanamycin sulfate, methenamine mandelate, and polymyxin B sulfate were found to be the most effective therapeutic agents.