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J Clin Microbiol. 1993 April; 31(4): 872–881.
PMCID: PMC263580

Rochalimaea elizabethae sp. nov. isolated from a patient with endocarditis.


A Rochalimaea-like organism (strain F9251) was isolated from a patient with endocarditis after blood drawn for culture before antimicrobial therapy was subcultured onto blood and chocolate agars and incubated for 2 weeks in 5% CO2. The strain was phenotypically similar to known Rochalimaea species. The cellular fatty acid composition of strain F9251 was close to but distinct from those of the three known Rochalimaea species and was most similar to that of R. vinsonii. Labeled DNA from strain F9251 was 59 to 67% related to DNAs from type strains of the three described Rochalimaea species, and its 16S rRNA gene sequence was 98.9% or more homologous to their 16S rRNA gene sequences. These findings support classification of F9251 as a new Rochalimaea species, for which the name Rochalimaea elizabethae sp. nov. is proposed. The patient infected with the organism had large bacterial vegetations on his aortic valve and was cured with antibiotics and valve-replacement surgery. Recognition of the procedures required to identify this and other Rochalimaea species suggests that clinical laboratories should prolong the incubation times of cultures of blood and tissue from patients with suspected endocarditis, patients with fever of unknown origin, and immunocompromised patients with fever so that the full spectrum of disease caused by these organisms can be recognized.

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