From 1974 to 1994, 2033 microbiological specimens from children were submitted for cultures for anaerobic bacteria. Fifty-seven isolates of spp. were obtained from 55 (3%) children, 67 isolates of spp. from 65 (3%) children and 41 isolates of spp. from 40 (2%) children. Most isolates were from chronic otitis media, abscesses, peritonitis, aspiration pneumonia and paronychia. Most isolates were from abscesses, peritonitis, decubitus ulcers and bites. spp. were mainly isolated from abscesses, aspiration pneumonia, bacteraemia and conjunctivitis. Most (> 90%) infections from which these species were isolated were polymicrobial and yielded a mixture of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. The organisms most commonly isolated with the non-sporing anaerobic gram-positive rods were spp., spp., pigmented and spp., spp., and . Most spp. and were isolated from intra-abdominal infection and skin and soft tissue infection around the rectal area, whereas most and isolates were from oropharyngeal, pulmonary and head and neck sites. The predisposing conditions associated with the isolation of non-sporing anaerobic gram-positive rods were previous surgery, malignancy, steroid therapy and immunodeficiency. Antimicrobial therapy was given to 149 (83%) of the 160 patients, in conjunction with surgical drainage or correction of pathology in 89 (56%).


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