Some nondiphtheria species of Corynebacterium produce disease in specific animal species, and some of these are also human pathogens. Some species attack healthy hosts, and others attack immunosuppressed hosts. Some of their effects include granulomatous lymphadenitis, pneumonitis, pharyngitis, skin infections, and endocarditis. Endocarditis caused by Corynebacterium spp. is particularly seen in patients with indwelling intravascular devices.
Some species of Corynebacterium have sequenced genomes that range in size from 2.5 - 3 Mbp. They can be found in many environments including soil, trees and skin. The non-diptheiroid Corynebecterium can also be found in human mucous membranes. They grow slowly, even on enriched media, and undergo "Chinese Letter" division. Species of Corynebacterium have been used in the mass production of various amino acids including L-Glutamic Acid, a popular food additive that is made at a rate of 1.5 million tons/ year by Corynebacterium. The metabolic pathways of Corynebacterium have been further manipulated to produce L-Lysine and L-Threonine.