The incidence of indifferent streptococci in the eyes of neonates less than 6 days old was investigated. The isolation of indifferent streptococci was significantly higher in infants with sticky eyes. Speciation using a shortened identification scheme was carried out on isolates; Streptococcus mitior and Streptococcus sanguis were the most common species in both purulent and non-infected eyes. Streptococcus mutans, a species not normally found in edentulous infants, comprised 14% of indifferent streptoccoi from neonates with sticky eyes but only 1% of those from infants with non-purulent eyes. It is suggested that the role of indifferent streptococci in neonatal conjunctivitis will be resolved only if speciation is performed.
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