G Funke

University of Zurich, Zürich, ZH, Switzerland

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Publications (78)260.83 Total impact

  • A von Graevenitz, G Funke
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    ABSTRACT: Turicella otitidis and Corynebacterium auris, described as new species 20 years ago, have been isolated mainly from the external ear canal and middle ear fluid. While their taxonomic position has been clearly established, their diagnosis in the routine laboratory is difficult. The question of their pathogenic potential in otitis is still open but might be elucidated better if corynebacteria are speciated more often.
    Infection 06/2013; · 2.44 Impact Factor
  • Guido Funke
    Topley and Wilson's Microbiology and Microbial Infections, 03/2010; , ISBN: 9780470688618
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    ABSTRACT: A non-lipophilic, coryneform bacterium isolated from a patient's wound caused by a dog bite was characterized by phenotypic, chemotaxonomic and molecular genetic methods. Chemotaxonomic features suggested assignment of the unknown bacterium to the genus Corynebacterium. The isolate exhibited the following unusual features, which made it possible to phenotypically differentiate it from all other medically relevant corynebacteria: the Gram stain showed some very filamentous rods (>15 μm in length); some cells exhibited branching; colonies were domed and adherent to agar; the micro-organism was positive for pyrazinamidase, β-glucosidase, α-glucosidase and trypsin but negative for β-galactosidase. 16S rRNA gene sequencing and partial rpoB gene sequencing showed that the closest phylogenetic relative, Corynebacterium freiburgense, exhibited more than 1.9 % and 17.9 % divergence with the unknown bacterium, respectively. Based on both phenotypic and molecular genetic data, it is proposed that the isolate should be classified as a novel species, Corynebacterium canis sp. nov., with the type strain 1170(T) (=CCUG 58627(T) =DSM 45402(T)).
    INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SYSTEMATIC AND EVOLUTIONARY MICROBIOLOGY 12/2009; 60(Pt 11):2544-7. · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A coryneform bacterium (strain 1094(T)) was isolated from a wound swab taken from an 89-year-old female patient. Chemotaxonomic investigations suggested that this bacterium was related to the genera Actinomyces, Arcanobacterium and Actinobaculum. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain 1094(T) was most closely related to Actinomyces europaeus CCUG 32789 A(T) (94.3 % similarity). Phenotypically, the isolate could be separated from its closest phylogenetic neighbours on the basis of being positive for catalase, CAMP reaction, acid phosphatase, N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase and raffinose fermentation. Based on the data presented, it is proposed that strain 1094(T) should be classified in a novel species, Actinomyces hominis sp. nov. The type strain is 1094(T) (=CCUG 57540(T) =DSM 22168(T)).
    International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 10/2009; 60(Pt 7):1678-81. · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A non-lipophilic, coryneform bacterium, isolated from a patient's wound obtained from a dog bite, was characterized by phenotypic, chemotaxonomic and molecular genetic methods. Chemotaxonomic features suggested assignment of the unknown bacterium to the genus Corynebacterium. The isolate exhibited the following peculiar features which made it possible to differentiate it phenotypically from all other medically relevant corynebacteria: older colonies exhibited a 'spoke-wheel' macroscopic morphology, colonies were strongly adherent to blood agar and the strain did not have pyrazinamidase activity, but was positive for beta-galactosidase. 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that the closest phylogenetic relative exhibited more than 3.9% divergence from the unknown isolate. Based on phenotypic and molecular genetic data, it is proposed that the isolate should be classified as a representative of a novel species, Corynebacterium freiburgense sp. nov., with strain 1045T (=CCUG 56874T=DSM 45254T) as the type strain.
    International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 09/2009; 59(Pt 8):2054-7. · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A non-lipophilic coryneform bacterium, strain 3105(T), was isolated from various tissues of a ferret with lethal sepsis. The strain was characterized by phenotypic and chemotaxonomic methods, which suggested an assignment of the isolate to the genus Corynebacterium. Strain 3105(T) exhibited the following peculiar features that made it possible to differentiate it phenotypically from all other corynebacteria: its distinctive 'humid cellar'-like odour, strong adherence to agar and a greenish-beige pigment. Strain 3105(T) exhibited more than 2.8 % 16S rRNA gene sequence divergence from its closest phylogenetic neighbour, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis NCTC 3450(T) (97.12 % sequence similarity). Analysis of the highly variable region within the rpoB gene sequence showed that strain 3105(T) exhibited more than 14 % divergence from its closest phylogenetic relative, again C. pseudotuberculosis. Based on the data presented, it is proposed that the ferret isolate should be classified within a novel species, Corynebacterium mustelae sp. nov. (type strain 3105( T) =CCUG 57279(T) =DSM 45274(T)).
    International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 09/2009; 60(Pt 4):871-3. · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, 50 strains of yellow-pigmented gram-positive rods that had been isolated from human clinical specimens and collected over a 5-year period were further characterized by phenotypic and molecular genetic methods. All 50 strains belonged to the genus Microbacterium, and together they represented 18 different species. Microbacterium oxydans (n = 11), M. paraoxydans (n = 9), and M. foliorum (n = 7) represented more than half of the strains included in the present study. The isolation of strains belonging to M. hydrocarbonoxydans (n = 2), M. esteraromaticum (n = 1), M. oleivorans (n = 1), M. phyllosphaerae (n = 1), and M. thalassium (n = 1) from humans is reported for the first time. Microbacterium sp. strain VKM Ac-1389 (n = 1) and the previously uncultured Microbacterium sp. clone YJQ-29 (n = 1) probably represent new species. Comprehensive antimicrobial susceptibility data are given for the 50 Microbacterium isolates. This study is, so far, the largest on Microbacterium spp. encountered in human clinical specimens and outlines the heterogeneity of clinical Microbacterium strains.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 10/2008; 46(11):3646-52. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: After the initial description of Arthrobacter spp. isolated from clinical specimens in the mid-1990s, very few further reports on Arthrobacter spp. have appeared in the clinical microbiology literature. The aim of the present study was to elucidate the distribution of Arthrobacter spp. and Arthrobacter-like bacteria encountered in clinical specimens by studying 50 consecutively isolated or received strains of large-colony-forming, whiteish-grayish, non-cheese-like-smelling, nonfermentative gram-positive rods by applying phenotypic methods as well as 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We observed a very heterogenous distribution, with the 50 strains belonging to 20 different taxa and each of 13 strains as a single representative of its particular taxon. Thirty-eight strains represented true Arthrobacter strains, 7 strains belonged to the genus Brevibacterium, 2 were Microbacterium species, and each of 3 single strains was a member of the rarely encountered genera Pseudoclavibacter, Leucobacter, and Brachybacterium, respectively. A. cumminsii (n = 14) and A. oxydans (n = 11) were the most frequently found species. The present report describes the first three A. aurescens strains isolated from human clinical specimens. Comprehensive antimicrobial susceptibility data are given for the 38 Arthrobacter isolates.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 09/2008; 46(9):2980-6. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Modern taxonomy has delineated Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus, S. gallolyticus subsp. pasteurianus, Streptococcus infantarius subsp. coli, and S. infantarius subsp. infantarius within the heterogenous group of previously designated clinical Streptococcus bovis bacteria. In the present study, 58 consecutive blood culture isolates initially designated S. bovis were further characterized by applying phenotypic and molecular genetic methods, and possible disease associations were investigated by studying the patients' records. Published phenotypic characteristics of S. gallolyticus and S. infantarius were not unequivocal and did not allow an unambiguous phenotypic differentiation of the 58 clinical isolates. However, full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences clearly assigned the strains to S. gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus (n = 29), S. gallolyticus subsp. pasteurianus (n = 12), and S. infantarius subsp. coli (n = 17). Only 28% of the patients with available records presented with endocarditis and 7% presented with colon carcinoma, whereas 37% of the patients had altered liver parenchyma and 28% had gall bladder disease as underlying diseases. Detailed antimicrobial susceptibility data on both S. gallolyticus subspecies and S. infantarius subsp. coli are given for the first time. As a result of the extensive characterization of the largest number of S. gallolyticus and S. infantarius human clinical isolates published so far, emended species descriptions are given. It is recommended that both clinical microbiologists and infectious disease specialists avoid the designation S. bovis for true S. gallolyticus and S. infantarius strains in the future in order to get a clearer picture of the possible disease associations of these species.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 08/2008; 46(9):2966-72. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    Guido Funke, Reinhard Frodl
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    ABSTRACT: In 2001, Corynebacterium freneyi was described as a new fermentative, alpha-glucosidase-positive Corynebacterium species related to C. xerosis based on data from three strains. During a review of our extensive culture collection we encountered 18 additional C. freneyi strains and further characterized them in detail. Thirteen of the 18 strains were isolated from female genital tract specimens without any obvious disease association. Phenotypically, C. freneyi can be easily differentiated from C. xerosis by its distinct wrinkled colonies whereas nearly all other routinely applied phenotypic tests do not allow a unanimous separation of C. freneyi from C. xerosis. Restriction length polymorphism analysis using CfoI of the 16S-23S rRNA gene intragenic spacer definitively allows differentiation between the two species. Surprisingly, comparative 16S rRNA gene analysis does not discriminate between C. freneyi and C. xerosis because the designated type strain of C. freneyi is not the most representative strain for this species. The present report also includes detailed data on the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of C. freneyi presented here for the first time. Based on the large number of additional C. freneyi strains from our culture collection, we provide an extended and emended species description of C. freneyi.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 03/2008; 46(2):638-43. · 4.16 Impact Factor
  • G Funke, R Troxler
    European Journal of Clinical Microbiology 12/2005; 24(11):769-71. · 3.02 Impact Factor
  • G Funke, C Nietznik
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    ABSTRACT: In order to evaluate the efficacy of linezolid for treating severe infections with coryneform bacteria, the activity of linezolid was tested in vitro against 425 clinically relevant isolates of coryneform bacteria and compared with the activity of penicillin and erythromycin. The minimal inhibitory concentration of linezolid did not exceed 2 microg/ml for any of the isolates tested, indicating that this agent has very good activity against coryneform bacteria. These results suggest linezolid is a possible alternative antimicrobial agent for the treatment of severe infections caused by coryneform bacteria.
    European Journal of Clinical Microbiology 10/2005; 24(9):612-4. · 3.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During a 4-year period, five strains (three of which were doubtless clinically significant) of yellow- or orange-pigmented, oxidative, slowly acid-producing coryneform bacteria were recovered from human clinical specimens in two reference laboratories or referred to them. The strains were motile, catalase positive, nitrate reductase negative, and urease negative, but strongly hydrolyzed esculin. In all reference and clinical strains described in the present study, anteisopentadecanoic (C(15:0ai)) and anteisoheptadecanoic (C(17:0ai)) acids represented more than 75% of all cellular fatty acids except in one clinical strain and in Curtobacterium pusillum, in which both the unusual omega-cyclohexyl fatty acid (identified as C(18:1omega7cis/omega9cis/omega12trans) by the Sherlock system) represented more than 50% of all cellular fatty acids. In all clinical strains, ornithine was the diamino acid of the cell wall, the interpeptide bridge consisted of ornithine, and acetyl was the acyl type of the peptidoglycan. Therefore, the five clinical strains were unambiguously identified as Curtobacterium spp. Analyses of the complete 16S rRNA genes of the five clinical strains with homologies to the established Curtobacterium species ranging from 99.2 to 100% confirmed the identifications as Curtobacterium spp. Data on the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of curtobacteria are reported, with macrolides and rifampin showing very low MICs for all strains tested. This report is the first on the isolation of Curtobacterium strains from human clinical specimens.
    Journal of Clinical Microbiology 04/2005; 43(3):1032-6. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    Guido Funke, Pascale Funke-Kissling
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    ABSTRACT: The VITEK 2 gram-positive (GP) identification card (bioMerieux, Marcy l'Etoile, France) has been redesigned to achieve greater accuracy in the identification of gram-positive cocci. A total of 43 biochemical tests, including 17 enzymatic tests, are present in the card and interpreted in a kinetic mode, for up to 8 h. The VITEK 2 database, used in conjunction with the GP identification card, allows the identification of 115 different taxa. A total of 364 strains of GP cocci (217 Streptococcaceae strains and 147 Micrococcaceae strains) belonging to 31 taxa were tested with the new VITEK 2 GP identification card. Of the 364 strains, 105 were taken from routine primary plating media. A total of 344 strains (94.5%) were correctly identified to the species level and 17 strains (4.7%) were identified with low discrimination, requiring additional tests, whereas 1 strain (0.3%) was incorrectly identified and 2 strains (0.5%) remained unidentified. Within 7 h of the start of incubation, more than 90% of all strains were identified. Of the 105 primary cultures, 97% were correctly identified to the species level, 2% were identified with low discrimination, and 1% remained unidentified. Identification performance data were independent of each of the three plating media used. It is concluded that the new VITEK 2 GP identification card provides reliable results for the identification of GP cocci under routine laboratory conditions.
    Journal of Clinical Microbiology 02/2005; 43(1):84-8. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    Guido Funke, Pascale Funke-Kissling
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    ABSTRACT: The VITEK 2 card for gram-negative bacteria (bioMérieux,Marcy-l'Etoile, France) has been redesigned to improve the identification of fermenting and nonfermenting bacilli. Forty-seven biochemical tests, including 19 enzymatic tests, are present in the new card and interpreted in a kinetic mode. Final identification results are available within 10 h. The database allows the identification of 159 different taxa. Six hundred fifty-five gram-negative rods (GNR; 511 fermenters and 144 nonfermenters), representing 54 taxa, were tested. Strains were taken from fresh routine primary isolation plates (n = 157), from stored routine plates (n = 301), and from stock cultures (n = 197). Six hundred thirty-seven strains (97.3%) were correctly identified to the species level, 14 strains (2.1%) gave low discrimination results requiring additional tests, and 4 strains (0.6%) gave discordant results; not a single strain remained unidentified. Nearly 92% of all isolates were correctly identified within 7 h of incubation. The robustness of the system was demonstrated by the fact that strains were grown on four different agar media before testing. The system may also have the potential to be applied directly to primary isolation plates, since in this instance 96.2% of 157 GNR were correctly identified and 3.8% gave low discrimination results. The new VITEK 2 card for gram-negative bacteria seems to be a promising new tool for routine, rapid identification of GNR.
    Journal of Clinical Microbiology 10/2004; 42(9):4067-71. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Paracoccus yeei was isolated in pure culture from an aerobic blood culture and bulla fluid from a 67-year-old male. The biochemical identification scheme for this recently described species is outlined. Because of its reaction pattern it is not unlikely that P. yeei is underdiagnosed.
    Journal of Clinical Microbiology 08/2004; 42(7):3366-8. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    Guido Funke, Pascale Funke-Kissling
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    ABSTRACT: The present study describes the use of the automated BACTEC 9240 blood culture system, the Serum Separator Tube (SST), and the BD PHOENIX Automated Microbiology System in combination for the direct identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) of gram-negative rods (GNRs) from positive blood cultures (BCs) without subculture. The study was conducted in three phases: (i) the recovery yield of Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 was determined with the SST between 0 and 8 h after spiked BC bottles turned positive; (ii) the identifications and susceptibility testing results obtained with the PHOENIX system for nine American Type Culture Collection strains of GNRs processed by the SST procedure and for colonies from agar medium were compared; and (iii) the procedure with the BACTEC system, SSTs, and the PHOENIX system was applied to positive cultures of blood from 309 patients during a 3-month period. The SST procedure with E. coli yielded sufficient numbers of cells to perform direct inoculation at any time between 0 and 8 h after a BC bottle turned positive. By using the identities obtained from pure cultures with the PHOENIX system and other biochemical identification systems as reference methods, the agreement between the reference methods and the PHOENIX system tested directly by using cultures of blood from patients was 92.9%. The 7.1% discrepant results were due to 6.5% incorrect identifications with the PHOENIX system with BC samples and 0.6% incorrect identifications with the PHOENIX system with samples from agar cultures. By AST the overall categorical accuracy was 99.0%, with 0.1% very major errors, 0.1% major errors, and 0.8% minor errors. In conclusion, use of the combination of the BACTEC system, SSTs, and the PHOENIX system has the potential to allow the agar isolation step to be skipped and the procedures for rapid direct identification and susceptibility testing of GNRs from positive BCs to be improved both in hospital-based and in central non-hospital-based laboratories.
    Journal of Clinical Microbiology 05/2004; 42(4):1466-70. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report a case of endocarditis due to Arthrobacter woluwensis and review the published reports of Arthrobacter species isolated from human clinical samples. A 39-year-old injection drug user presented with fever and a new heart murmur. A. woluwensis was isolated from blood cultures, and a diagnosis of subacute infective endocarditis of the native mitral valve was made. The patient was successfully treated with a 6-week course of intravenous teicoplanin. From our review of the literature, we were able to retrieve data on 41 cases of Arthrobacter species isolated from human clinical samples. However, Arthrobacter species was documented as a cause of human disease on only 5 other occasions (2 cases of bacteremia, 1 case of postoperative endophthalmitis, 1 case of a Whipple disease-like syndrome, and 1 case of phlebitis). Because of the difficulty of identifying Arthrobacter strains by conventional biochemical assays, it is likely that infections with these coryneform bacteria are underreported.
    Clinical Infectious Diseases 03/2004; 38(4):e27-31. · 9.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The recently described coryneform bacteria and were first detected in the middle ear of patients with acute otitis media and chronic otitis media. Whether these bacteria play an essential role in the pathogenesis of otitis media with effusion (OME) is unclear. In a prospective study 60 children with OME and 205 controls were evaluated to determine the incidence of and. Swabs from the external auditory canal (EAC) and the middle ear effusion (MEE) of OME children undergoing tympanotomy, ventilation tube insertion or both were cultured. Swabs from the EAC from healthy children served as controls. In control children was found in EAC swabs from 23 of 205 (11.2%) and in 32 of 205 (15.6%). was isolated from 14 of 60 (23.3%) OME patients from the EAC only and in 6 of 60 (10.0%) OME patients from both EAC and MEE. was isolated in 2 of 60 (3.3%) from the EAC only and in 1 of 60 (1.7%) from both EAC and MEE. In no patient did or grow exclusively from MEE. and may be part of the normal bacterial flora of the EAC in some children. Neither organism seems to cause OME in children.
    The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 01/2003; 21(12):1124-6. · 3.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dermabacter hominis is a gram-positive, catalase-positive, glucose-fermenting rod, which, as it grows forms small greyish-white colonies with a characteristic pungent odor. Previously known as coryneform Centers for Disease Control and Prevention groups 3 and 5, it was catalogued as D. hominis in 1994. Various strains isolated in blood cultures, abscesses, or wounds in the 1970s were retrospectively characterized in referral centers as D. hominis. In this report we describe two patients with severe underlying pathology who developed bacteremias by D. hominis within the context of their clinical pictures.
    Journal of Clinical Microbiology 07/2001; 39(6):2356-7. · 4.07 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
260.83 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1993–2013
    • University of Zurich
      • Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie
      Zürich, ZH, Switzerland
  • 2008
    • National Microbiology Laboratory, Canada
      Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 2004
    • Oncologist Institute of Southern Switzerland
      Bellinzona, Ticino, Switzerland
  • 2001
    • Hospital Universitario de Móstoles
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 1999
    • University of Helsinki
      • Department of Food and Environmental Sciences
      Helsinki, Province of Southern Finland, Finland
  • 1998
    • Institute of Food Research
      Norwich, England, United Kingdom
  • 1997
    • Baylor College of Medicine
      • Veterans Affairs Medical Center
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 1996
    • Emory University
      • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      Atlanta, GA, United States
    • Kantonsspital Winterthur
      Winterthur, Zurich, Switzerland