Monday, 17 June 2019

Acidaminococcus provencensis: A new species of Firmicute Bacteria.

Firmicutes are a group of Bacteria which are not typically pathogenic, but which includes a few species such as Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes which can cause food poisoning or skin infections, as well as more dangerous species such as Clostridium perfringens (Gas Gangrene) and Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax) which are normally soil-dwelling Bacteria, but which can cause lethal infections due to the toxins which they produce. Members of the genus Acidaminococcus are anaerobic Bacteria (Bacteria which do not require oxygen) which are able to obtain energy solely from the breakdown of amino acids. Members of this genus have been found living in the guts of Humans and Pigs, with high levels associated with stunted growth in Human children.

In a paper published in the journal New Microbes and New Infections on 14 June 2019, Tatsuki Takakura of the Analytical & Medical Solution Business Group at the Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation and the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Méditerranée-Infection in Marseille, Hussein Anani of Microbes Evolution Phylogeny and Infections at Aix-Marseille Université, Amaël Fadlane and Anthony Fontanini, also of the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Méditerranée-Infection, Didier Raoult, again of the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Méditerranée-Infection and of Microbes Evolution Phylogeny and Infections at Aix-Marseille Université, and Jacques Yaacoub Bou Khalil, once again of the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Méditerranée-Infection, describe a new species of Acidaminococcus isolated from a Human stool sample collected at the Hospital de la Timone in Marseille as part of a random screening program.

The new species is named Acidaminococcus provencensis, meaning 'from Provence'. When cultured in Colombia agar enriched with 5% sheep’s blood in strict anaerobic conditions at 37°C, it formed circular colonies of white, cocci-shaped (spherical) Bacterial cells with an average mean diameter of 0.8 μm. These cells were identified as belonging to a new species of Acidaminococcus by 16S rRNA gene sequencing.

Scanning electron micrograph of colony of Acidaminococcus provencensis. Takakura et al. (2019).

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