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The classification of staphylococci from colonized ventriculo-atrial shunts
  1. Richard Holt
  1. Group Laboratories, Queen Mary's Hospital for Children, Carshalton, Surrey


    Micrococcaceae isolated from the shunt, ventricles, and bloodstream of children with colonized ventriculo-venous shunts were classified within the scheme of Baird-Parker (1963). With one exception, all belonged to subgroup II of the genus Staphylococcus; tests were therefore devised for division within this subgroup, and results are reported in 30 cases from this and other hospitals.

    Skin and nasal staphylococci isolated from many of these patients were compared with those recovered from their shunts and blood. Evidence is offered for the occasional coexistence of more than one strain of staphylococcus in colonized shunts and in the bloodstream. Successive recolonization of replaced shunts was apparently not necessarily caused by the same type of staphylococcus.

    Nasal and skin micrococcaceae from many other babies, both in hospital and in parental care, from hospital staff and from adults selected at random from non-hospital sources, were similarly classified.

    The validity and significance of the findings are discussed.

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