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Anaerobic bacteria 

Anaerobic bacteria
Anaerobic bacteria

Anilrudh A. Venugopal

and David W. Hecht


May 30, 2013: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.


Gastrointestinal infections—update on the management of Clostridium difficile and enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis infections.

Updated data for the Bacteroides fragilis group provided for antibiotic resistance rates in the United States of America and Europe.

New section on the work-up and treatment of complicated intra-abdominal infections.

Additions to Further reading.

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date: 23 October 2021

Anaerobic bacteria will not grow when incubated with 10% CO2 in room air, but vary in their tolerance of different levels of oxygen. They are important commensal flora of the skin and oral, intestinal, and pelvic mucosae, and are classified according to their Gram staining characteristics and ability to produce spores: (1) Gram positive—cocci, non-spore-forming bacilli, and spore-forming bacilli (notably clostridium); (2) Gram negative—cocci and bacilli. Many anaerobic bacteria possess virulence factors that facilitate their pathogenicity, e.g. histiolytic enzymes and various toxins....

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