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July 1952


Author Affiliations


From the Cornell Medical and Surgical Divisions, Bellevue Hospital.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1952;90(1):79-86. doi:10.1001/archinte.1952.00240070085008

THE GENUS Chromobacterium is made up of Gram-negative, aerobic, pigmentproducing, bacilliform bacteria. Species differentiation depends partly upon the color of the pigment produced and partly on the growth and biochemical characteristics of the organism.1 The strains of any given species vary considerably among themselves; hence attempts at precise classification are often unsatisfactory. A useful classification, however, is that of Topley and Wilson.2

Human disease caused by these bacteria is rather rare, and only a few cases have been reported.3 Urinary tract infection has been noted to occur with some regularity, and the chromobacteria have less frequently been implicated as etiological agents in serious systemic infection. Of the reported cases, only in those of Wheat and his associates4 has the role of specific antimicrobial therapy been studied. In their patients such therapy was found to be ineffective, and the bacteria were resistant to antimicrobial drugs in vitro. Recently we observed a

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