Corynebacterium jeikeium is an opportunistic pathogen primarily of immunocompromised (neutropenic) patients. C. jeikeium isolates are lipophilic (fat-loving), non-spore-forming, Gram-positive rods that vary from short coccobacilli to long bacillary forms. The organisms are non-motile.
The Coryneform bacteria are common inhabitants of healthy human skin and mucous membranes however C. jeikeium differs from other coryneforms by being pathogenic to humans and highly resistant to antibiotics. Although C. jeikeium is a significant opportunistic pathogen the presence of C. jeikeium in the hospital environment is probably the most clinically important aspect of the natural history of this organism. This is because there is recent evidence that drug resistance genes may have transferred from corynebacteria to a Proprionibacterium sp. clinical isolate. Thus, the high incidence of multiply drug-resistant C. jeikeium suggests that this organism may be an important environmental reservoir of drug resistance genes. C. jeikeium is the most frequently recovered medically significant corynebacterial species at intensive care facilities.
Corynebacterium jeikeium causes septicaemia and endocarditis. Infections include those of skin and soft tissue, septicaemia, native and prosthetic valve endocarditis, osteomyelitis, arthritis and ventricular cerebrospinal fluid shunts
The knowledge on the genome architecture of C. jeikeium will provide a fundamental step in understanding not only the cellular physiology and lifestyle but also the molecular and biochemical basis for multiresistance as well as the pathogenic potential of this clinically important species. It is also advantageous that complete genome sequences are available for some nonpathogenic species Corynebacterium for comparative genomic analysis.
REF http://www.ebi.ac.uk/2can/genomes/bacteria/Corynebacterium_jeikeium.html Acessado em 27/01/11