The clinical microbiologist before the taxonomic changes in the genus Clostridium
JOSÉ ELÍAS GARCÍA-SÁNCHEZ, ENRIQUE GARCÍA-SÁNCHEZ, MARÍA GARCÍA-MORO
The various species included in the genus Clostridium are very heterogeneous, both from a phenotypic and a phylogenetic point of view. The advances in polyphasic taxonomy, particularly in phylogeny, are allowing to resolve this dysfunction reclassifying several species in other genres, although there is still work to be done. Changes in generic denominations are quite normal in taxonomy, but can turn into a problem when they affect species with strong clinical impact and that have been recognised for a long time, as in the case of some traditional Clostridium species. After knowing these changes clinical microbiologists, in whose work taxonomy is an essential tool, should evaluate what matters most, if the communication with other health professionals or the phylogeny, and think about the possibility of combining both things. This paper reviews some of the taxonomic changes that have took place in well-known Clostridium species that can be clinically interesting and evaluates, as far as possible, their significance in the scientific and medical communication.
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