The clinical importance of the gram-positive anaerobic cocci (GPAC) isolated in 1987 at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, is assessed. Of about 800 anaerobic isolates, 209 (27%) were GPAC, of which 67 (32%) were from abscesses and 22 (11%) were in pure growth. Four species comprised 77% of the 168 isolates available for study: (55 isolates, 33%), (23, 14%), (24, 14%) and (27, 16%). Different species were associated with different sites, from (usually skin-associated sites; normally cultured with aerobes, infrequently with other anaerobes), (distributed widely) and (usually genitourinary and gastrointestinal; always below the diaphragm) to (always deep sites with other anaerobes). was isolated from 15 abscesses and was obtained in pure culture from 11 specimens, six of them abscesses developing from infected sebaceous cysts. was usually isolated from soft tissue abscesses, never from the skin, and with a characteristic mixed flora consisting of “” and anaerobic gram-negative rods. was a rare isolate from similar specimens. was cultured from a wide variety of sites, typically mixed with both aerobes and anaerobes, and frequently from abscesses. Most isolates of came from gastrointestinal or female genitourinary specimens, never from above the diaphragm and rarely from the skin; cultures were usually heavily mixed. Isolates of and the “bGAL” group made up 11% of strains and were usually cultured from superficial sites, often from post-operative wound infections with . There were only two isolates of , three of and none of , , , , or . GPAC are a heterogeneous group associated with a wide variety of infections, particularly abscesses, and are frequently isolated in pure culture. They deserve further study.


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