A genus of nonmotile (except for some plant pathogens), aerobic to anaerobic bacteria (family Corynebacteriaceae) containing irregularly staining, Gram-positive, straight to slightly curved, often club-shaped rods which, as a result of snapping division, may show a picket fence arrangement. These organisms are widely distributed in nature. The best known species are parasites and pathogens of humans and domestic animals. The type species is C. diphtheriae. [G. coryne, a club, + bacterium, a small rod]
- C. acnes former name for Propionibacterium acnes.
- C. amycolatum a species found as normal skin flora, it causes septicemia, frequently associated with venous access devices, and has also been recovered from urinary tract infections and mixed flora abscesses.
- C. diphtheriae a bacterial species that causes diphtheria and produces a powerful exotoxin causing degeneration of various tissues, notably myocardium, in humans and experimental animals and catalyzes the ADP-ribosylation of elongation factor II; virulent strains of this organism are lysogenic; it is commonly found in membranes in the pharynx, larynx, trachea, and nose in cases of diphtheria; it is also found in apparently healthy pharynx and nose in carriers, and is occasionally found in the conjunctiva and in superficial wounds; it occasionally infects the nasal passages and wounds of horses; it is the type species of the genus C.. SYN: Klebs-Loeffler bacillus, Loeffler bacillus.
- C. equi SYN: Rhodococcus equi.
- C. glucuronolyticum a species isolated from patients with urinary tract infections.
- C. haemolyticum former name for Arcanobacterium haemolyticum.
- C. hofmannii former name for C. pseudodiphtheriticum.
- C. jeikeium species associated with septicemia and skin lesions in immunocompromised patients, especially associated with venous access devices.
- C. matruchotii a species recovered in mixed infections from human eye specimens.
- C. minutissimum a bacterial species that is a component of normal skin flora, causes erythrasma in humans.
- C. parvum former name for Propionibacterium acnes.
- C. pseudodiphtheriticum a rarely pathogenic species found in normal throats. SYN: Hofmann bacillus.
- C. striatum a bacterial species found in nasal mucus and in the throat; also found in udders of cows with mastitis; pathogenic to laboratory animals; a rare cause of infection to immnocompromised patients.
- C. xerosis a bacterial species found in normal and diseased conjunctiva; there is no evidence that this organism is pathogenic.

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cor·y·ne·bac·te·ri·um -'tir-ē-əm n
1) cap a large genus of usu. gram-positive nonmotile bacteria that do not produce spores, occur as irregular or branching rods often banded with metachromatic granules, and include a number of important animal and plant pathogens see DIPHTHERIA
2) pl -ria -ē-ə any bacterium of the genus Corynebacterium

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a genus of Gram-positive, mostly aerobic, nonmotile rodlike bacteria that frequently bear club-shaped swellings. Many species cause disease in humans, domestic animals, birds, and plants; some are found in dairy products. The species C. diphtheriae (Klebs-Loeffler bacillus) is the causative organism of diphtheria, producing a powerful exotoxin that is harmful to heart and nerve tissue. It occurs in one of three forms: gravis, intermedius, and mitis.

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Co·ry·ne·bac·te·ri·um (ko-ri″ne-bak-tērґe-əm) [Gr. korynē club + bacterium] a genus of club-shaped bacteria of the family Corynebacteriaceae, consisting of gram-positive, nonsporulating, nonmotile, straight to slightly curved rods; organisms are catalase-positive, irregularly staining, sometimes granular, and sometimes arranged in angular and palisade groups. They are widely distributed in nature and include human and animal parasites and pathogens, plant pathogens, and nonpathogens. The type species is C. diphtheґriae.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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