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Serratia strains ferment lactose slowly (3 to 4 days), if at all. Some produce distinctivebrick-red colonies. Although less common, this genus produces the same range of oppor-tunistic infections seen with the remainder of the Enterobacteriaceae. Serratia strains show consistent resistance to ampicillin and cephalothin, with the frequent addition of plasmid-determined resistance to many other antimicrobics, including the aminoglycosides.
Sporadic infections and nosocomial outbreaks with multiresistant strains have often been difficult to control.
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