A survey of the isolation of spp. from 1543 specimens sent to anaerobic microbiology laboratories revealed 113 isolates from 107 specimens (7.0% of all specimens) from 96 children. The isolates comprised 43 (38%) unidentified spp., 37 (33%) , 13 (12%) , five (4%) , six (5%) , three (3%) , two (2%) , and one isolate each of and . Most clostridial isolates were from abscesses (38), peritonitis (26), bacteraemia (10), and chronic otitis media (7). Predisposing or underlying conditions were present in 31 (32%) cases. These were immunodeficiency (12), malignancy (9), diabetes (7), trauma (7), presence of a foreign body (6) and previous surgery (6). The clostridia were the only bacterial isolates in 14 (15%) cases; 82 (85%) cases had mixed infection. The species most commonly isolated with clostridia were anaerobic cocci (57), spp. ( group) (50), (22), pigmented or spp. (18) and spp. (10). Most and isolates with clostridia were from abdominal infections and skin and soft tissue infections adjacent to the rectal area; most pigmented and isolates were from oropharyngeal, pulmonary, and head and neck sites. Antimicrobial therapy was given to all patients, in conjunction with surgical drainage in 34 (35%). Only two patients died. These data illustrate the importance of spp. in paediatric infections.


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