A vernacular term used to refer to any member of the genus C..

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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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