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Introduction to Gram-Negative Bacilli


Larry M. Bush

, MD, FACP, Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University;

Maria T. Vazquez-Pertejo

, MD, FACP, Wellington Regional Medical Center

Last full review/revision Feb 2020| Content last modified Feb 2020
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Gram-negative bacilli are responsible for numerous diseases. Some are commensal organisms present among normal intestinal flora. These commensal organisms plus others from animal or environmental reservoirs may cause disease.

Urinary tract infections, diarrhea, peritonitis, and bloodstream infections are commonly caused by gram-negative bacilli.

Gram-negative bacteria cause plague, cholera, and typhoid fever. These infections are rare in the US but are more common in areas of the world that are affected by poverty or war or have poor sanitation and/or an unsafe water and food supply. These infections can be serious.

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