Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease vol:54 issue:2 pages:99-104
We evaluated the usefulness of cellular fatty acid analysis for the identification of corynebacteria. Therefore, 219 well-characterized strains belonging to 21 Corynebacterium species were analyzed with the Sherlock System of MIDI (Newark, DE). Most Corynebacterium species have a qualitative different fatty acid profile. Corynebacterium coyleae (subgroup 1), Corynebacterium riegelii, Corynebacterium simulans, and Corynebacterium imitans differ only quantitatively. Corynebacterium afermentans afermentans and C. coyleae (subgroup 2) have both a similar qualitative and quantitative profile. The commercially available database (CLIN 40, MIDI) identified only one third of the 219 strains correctly at the species level. We created a new database with these 219 strains. This new database was tested with 34 clinical isolates and could identify 29 strains correctly. Strains that remained unidentified were 2 Corynebacterium aurimucosum (not included in our database), 1 C. afermentans afermentans, and 2 Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum. Cellular fatty acid analysis with a self-created database can be used for the identification and differentiation of corynebacteria.