We identified 95 isolates from novel taxa that may have clinical relevance.
Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene (16S) is a reference method for bacterial identification. Its expanded use has led to increased recognition of novel bacterial species. In most clinical laboratories, novel species are infrequently encountered, and their pathogenic potential is often difficult to assess. We reviewed partial 16S sequences from >26,000 clinical isolates, analyzed during February 2006–June 2010, and identified 673 that have <99% sequence identity with valid reference sequences and are thus possibly novel species. Of these 673 isolates, 111 may represent novel genera (<95% identity). Isolates from 95 novel taxa were recovered from multiple patients, indicating possible clinical relevance. Most repeatedly encountered novel taxa belonged to the genera Nocardia (14 novel taxa, 42 isolates) and Actinomyces (12 novel taxa, 52 isolates). This systematic approach for recognition of novel species with potential diagnostic or therapeutic relevance provides a basis for epidemiologic surveys and improvement of sequence databases and may lead to identification of new clinical entities.
16S sequencing; unidentified; new species; repeated isolation; bacteria
Nineteen new Corynebacterium species or taxa described since 1995 have been associated with human disease. We report the characteristics of 72 strains identified as or most closely resembling 14 of these newer, medically relevant Corynebacterium species or taxa, as well as describe in brief an isolate of Corynebacterium bovis, a rare pathogen for humans. The bacteria studied in this report were nearly all derived from human clinical specimens and were identified by a polyphasic approach. Most were characterized by nearly full 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Some isolates were recovered from previously unreported sources and exhibited unusual phenotypes or represented the first isolates found outside Europe. Products of fermentation, with emphasis on the presence or absence of propionic acid, were also studied in order to provide an additional characteristic with which to differentiate among phenotypically similar species.
Due to the inadequate automation in the amplification and sequencing procedures, the use of 16S rRNA gene sequence-based methods in clinical microbiology laboratories is largely limited to identification of strains that are difficult to identify by phenotypic methods. In this study, using conventional full-sequence 16S rRNA gene sequencing as the “gold standard,” we evaluated the usefulness of the MicroSeq 500 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA)-based bacterial identification system, which involves amplification and sequencing of the first 527-bp fragment of the 16S rRNA genes of bacterial strains and analysis of the sequences using the database of the system, for identification of clinically significant bacterial isolates with ambiguous biochemical profiles. Among 37 clinically significant bacterial strains that showed ambiguous biochemical profiles, representing 37 nonduplicating aerobic gram-positive and gram-negative, anaerobic, and Mycobacterium species, the MicroSeq 500 16S rDNA-based bacterial identification system was successful in identifying 30 (81.1%) of them. Five (13.5%) isolates were misidentified at the genus level (Granulicatella adiacens was misidentified as Abiotrophia defectiva, Helcococcus kunzii was misidentified as Clostridium hastiforme, Olsenella uli was misidentified as Atopobium rimae, Leptotrichia buccalis was misidentified as Fusobacterium mortiferum, and Bergeyella zoohelcum was misidentified as Rimerella anatipestifer), and two (5.4%) were misidentified at the species level (Actinomyces odontolyticus was misidentified as Actinomyces meyeri and Arcobacter cryaerophilus was misidentified as Arcobacter butzleri). When the same 527-bp DNA sequences of these seven isolates were compared to the known 16S rRNA gene sequences in the GenBank, five yielded the correct identity, with good discrimination between the best and second best match sequences, meaning that the reason for misidentification in these five isolates was due to a lack of the 16S rRNA gene sequences of these bacteria in the database of the MicroSeq 500 16S rDNA-based bacterial identification system. In conclusion, the MicroSeq 500 16S rDNA-based bacterial identification system is useful for identification of most clinically important bacterial strains with ambiguous biochemical profiles, but the database of the MicroSeq 500 16S rDNA-based bacterial identification system has to be expanded in order to encompass the rarely encountered bacterial species and achieve better accuracy in bacterial identification.
The traditional identification of bacteria on the basis of phenotypic characteristics is generally not as accurate as identification based on genotypic methods. Comparison of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequence has emerged as a preferred genetic technique. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis can better identify poorly described, rarely isolated, or phenotypically aberrant strains, can be routinely used for identification of mycobacteria, and can lead to the recognition of novel pathogens and noncultured bacteria. Problems remain in that the sequences in some databases are not accurate, there is no consensus quantitative definition of genus or species based on 16S rRNA gene sequence data, the proliferation of species names based on minimal genetic and phenotypic differences raises communication difficulties, and microheterogeneity in 16S rRNA gene sequence within a species is common. Despite its accuracy, 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis lacks widespread use beyond the large and reference laboratories because of technical and cost considerations. Thus, a future challenge is to translate information from 16S rRNA gene sequencing into convenient biochemical testing schemes, making the accuracy of the genotypic identification available to the smaller and routine clinical microbiology laboratories.
Streptococcus is an economically important genus as a number of species belonging to this genus are human and animal pathogens. The genus has been divided into different groups based on 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity. The variability observed among the members of these groups is low and it is difficult to distinguish them. The present study was taken up to explore 16S rRNA gene sequence to develop methods that can be used for preliminary identification and can supplement the existing methods for identification of clinically-relevant isolates of the genus Streptococcus.
16S rRNA gene sequences belonging to the isolates of S. dysgalactiae, S. equi, S. pyogenes, S. agalactiae, S. bovis, S. gallolyticus, S. mutans, S. sobrinus, S. mitis, S. pneumoniae, S. thermophilus and S. anginosus were analyzed with the purpose to define genetic variability within each species to generate a phylogenetic framework, to identify species-specific signatures and in-silico restriction enzyme analysis.
The framework based analysis was used to segregate Streptococcus spp. previously identified upto genus level. This segregation was validated using species-specific signatures and in-silico restriction enzyme analysis. 43 uncharacterized Streptococcus spp. could be identified using this approach.
The markers generated exploring 16S rRNA gene sequences provided useful tool that can be further used for identification of different species of the genus Streptococcus.
phylogenetic framework; signature sequences; genetic heterogeneity
Traditional methods for microbial identification require the recognition of differences in morphology, growth, enzymatic activity, and metabolism to define genera and species. Full and partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing methods have emerged as useful tools for identifying phenotypically aberrant microorganisms. We report on three bacterial blood isolates from three different College of American Pathologists-certified laboratories that were referred to ARUP Laboratories for definitive identification. Because phenotypic identification suggested unusual organisms not typically associated with the submitted clinical diagnosis, consultation with the Medical Director was sought and further testing was performed including partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing. All three patients had endocarditis, and conventional methods identified isolates from patients A, B, and C as a Facklamia sp., Eubacterium tenue, and a Bifidobacterium sp. 16S rRNA gene sequencing identified the isolates as Enterococcus faecalis, Cardiobacterium valvarum, and Streptococcus mutans, respectively. We conclude that the initial identifications of these three isolates were erroneous, may have misled clinicians, and potentially impacted patient care. 16S rRNA gene sequencing is a more objective identification tool, unaffected by phenotypic variation or technologist bias, and has the potential to reduce laboratory errors.
Conventional methods are sometimes insufficient to identify human bacterial pathogens, and alternative techniques, often molecular, are required. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) identified with a valid score 45.9% of 410 clinical isolates from 207 different difficult-to-identify species having required 16S rRNA gene sequencing. MALDI-TOF MS might represent an alternative to 16S rRNA gene sequencing.
Accurate identification of fastidious Gram-negative rods (GNR) by conventional phenotypic characteristics is a challenge for diagnostic microbiology. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of molecular methods, e.g., 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis for identification of fastidious GNR in the clinical microbiology laboratory.
A total of 158 clinical isolates covering 20 genera and 50 species isolated from 1993 to 2010 were analyzed by comparing biochemical and 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis based identification. 16S rRNA gene homology analysis identified 148/158 (94%) of the isolates to species level, 9/158 (5%) to genus and 1/158 (1%) to family level. Compared to 16S rRNA gene sequencing as reference method, phenotypic identification correctly identified 64/158 (40%) isolates to species level, mainly Aggregatibacter aphrophilus, Cardiobacterium hominis, Eikenella corrodens, Pasteurella multocida, and 21/158 (13%) isolates correctly to genus level, notably Capnocytophaga sp.; 73/158 (47%) of the isolates were not identified or misidentified.
We herein propose an efficient strategy for accurate identification of fastidious GNR in the clinical microbiology laboratory by integrating both conventional phenotypic methods and 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. We conclude that 16S rRNA gene sequencing is an effective means for identification of fastidious GNR, which are not readily identified by conventional phenotypic methods.
Fastidious Gram-negative rods; 16S rRNA gene; Conventional phenotypic methods
Aims—To ascertain the clinical relevance of a strain of Enterobacteriaceae isolated from the stool of a bone marrow transplant recipient with diarrhoea. The isolate could not be identified to the genus level by conventional phenotypic methods and required 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequencing for full identification.
Methods—The isolate was investigated phenotypically by standard biochemical methods using conventional biochemical tests and two commercially available systems, the Vitek (GNI+) and API (20E) systems. Genotypically, the 16S bacterial rRNA gene was amplified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequenced. The sequence of the PCR product was compared with known 16S rRNA gene sequences in the GenBank database by multiple sequence alignment.
Results—Conventional biochemical tests did not reveal a pattern resembling any known member of the Enterobacteriaceae family. The isolate was identified as Salmonella arizonae (73%) and Escherichia coli (76%) by the Vitek (GNI+) and API (20E) systems, respectively. 16S rRNA sequencing showed that there was only one base difference between the isolate and E coli K-12, but 48 and 47 base differences between the isolate and S typhimurium (NCTC 8391) and S typhi (St111), respectively, showing that it was an E coli strain. The patient did not require any specific treatment and the diarrhoea subsided spontaneously.
Conclusions—16S rRNA gene sequencing was useful in ascertaining the clinical relevance of the strain of Enterobacteriaceae isolated from the stool of the bone marrow transplant recipient with diarrhoea.
16S ribosomal RNA sequencing; bone marrow transplantation
Despite the increasing use of 16S rRNA gene sequencing, interpretation of 16S rRNA gene sequence results is one of the most difficult problems faced by clinical microbiologists and technicians. To overcome the problems we encountered in the existing databases during 16S rRNA gene sequence interpretation, we built a comprehensive database, 16SpathDB (http://22.214.171.124/16SpathDB) based on the 16S rRNA gene sequences of all medically important bacteria listed in the Manual of Clinical Microbiology and evaluated its use for automated identification of these bacteria. Among 91 nonduplicated bacterial isolates collected in our clinical microbiology laboratory, 71 (78%) were reported by 16SpathDB as a single bacterial species having >98.0% nucleotide identity with the query sequence, 19 (20.9%) were reported as more than one bacterial species having >98.0% nucleotide identity with the query sequence, and 1 (1.1%) was reported as no match. For the 71 bacterial isolates reported as a single bacterial species, all results were identical to their true identities as determined by a polyphasic approach. For the 19 bacterial isolates reported as more than one bacterial species, all results contained their true identities as determined by a polyphasic approach and all of them had their true identities as the “best match in 16SpathDB.” For the isolate (Gordonibacter pamelaeae) reported as no match, the bacterium has never been reported to be associated with human disease and was not included in the Manual of Clinical Microbiology. 16SpathDB is an automated, user-friendly, efficient, accurate, and regularly updated database for 16S rRNA gene sequence interpretation in clinical microbiology laboratories.
Reliable automated identification and susceptibility testing of clinically relevant bacteria is an essential routine for microbiology laboratories, thus improving patient care. Examples of automated identification systems include the Phoenix (Becton Dickinson) and the VITEK 2 (bioMérieux). However, more and more frequently, microbiologists must isolate “difficult” strains that automated systems often fail to identify. An alternative approach could be the genetic identification of isolates; this is based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing and analysis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the possible use of MicroSeq 500 (Applera) for sequencing the 16S rRNA gene to identify isolates whose identification is unobtainable by conventional systems. We analyzed 83 “difficult” clinical isolates: 25 gram-positive and 58 gram-negative strains that were contemporaneously identified by both systems—VITEK 2 and Phoenix—while genetic identification was performed by using the MicroSeq 500 system. The results showed that phenotypic identifications by VITEK 2 and Phoenix were remarkably similar: 74% for gram-negative strains (43 of 58) and 80% for gram-positive strains were concordant by both systems and also concordant with genetic characterization. The exceptions were the 15 gram-negative and 9 gram-positive isolates whose phenotypic identifications were contrasting or inconclusive. For these, the use of MicroSeq 500 was fundamental to achieving species identification. In clinical microbiology the use of MicroSeq 500, particularly for strains with ambiguous biochemical profiles (including slow-growing strains), identifies strains more easily than do conventional systems. Moreover, MicroSeq 500 is easy to use and cost-effective, making it applicable also in the clinical laboratory.
Mycobacterium branderi, a potential human pathogen first characterized in 1995, has been isolated from respiratory tract specimens. We report here a case in which M. branderi was the only organism isolated upon culture from a hand infection. This isolate, along with a second isolate from a bronchial specimen, was subjected to conventional identification tests for mycobacterial species. Further analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) of mycolic acids and 16S rRNA gene sequencing was performed, and the antibiotic susceptibility profile was determined for both strains. Biochemical tests and the HPLC pattern were consistent with that of M. branderi and M. celatum, which are very similar. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of both strains corresponded to that of M. branderi and enabled us to confidently differentiate this organism from other closely related species such as M. celatum. This contributes to a further understanding of the status of this species as a potential human pathogen as well as illustrating the need for molecular diagnostics as a complementary method for the identification of rare mycobacterial species.
The Campylobacter genus consists of a number of important human and animal pathogens. Although the 16S rRNA gene has been used extensively for detection and identification of Campylobacter species, there is currently limited information on the 23S rRNA gene and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region that lies between the 16S and 23S rRNA genes. We examined the potential of the 23S rRNA gene and the ITS region to be used in species differentiation and delineation of systematic relationships for 30 taxa within the Campylobacter genus. The ITS region produced the highest mean pairwise percentage difference (35.94%) compared to the 16S (5.34%) and 23S (7.29%) rRNA genes. The discriminatory power for each region was further validated using Simpson's index of diversity (D value). The D values were 0.968, 0.995, and 0.766 for the ITS region and the 23S and 16S rRNA genes, respectively. A closer examination of the ITS region revealed that Campylobacter concisus, Campylobacter showae, and Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus harbored tRNA configurations not previously reported for other members of the Campylobacter genus. We also observed the presence of strain-dependent intervening sequences in the 23S rRNA genes. Neighbor-joining trees using the ITS region revealed that Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli strains clustered in subgroups, which was not observed in trees derived from the 16S or 23S rRNA gene. Of the three regions examined, the ITS region is by far the most cost-effective region for the differentiation and delineation of systematic relationships within the Campylobacter genus.
Molecular methodologies have become useful techniques for the identification of pathogenic Nocardia species and for the recognition of novel species that are capable of causing human disease. Two isolates recovered from immunocompromised patients were characterized as Nocardia nova by biochemical and susceptibility testing results. The restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) patterns obtained by restriction endonuclease analysis (REA) of an amplified portion of the heat shock protein gene were identical to those obtained with the type strain of N. nova. REA of an amplified portion of the 16S rRNA gene showed RFLP patterns that were unlike those obtained for the type strain of N. nova but that were similar to those obtained for the type strains of N. africana and N. veterana. Subsequent sequencing of a portion of the 16S rRNA gene produced identical results for the two patient isolates. Sequence analysis of 1,352-bp portions of the 16S rRNA gene indicated that these isolates were 99.8% similar to the recently described species N. veterana but were only 99.3, 98.1, and 98.1% similar to the type strains of N. africana, N. nova, and N. vaccinii, respectively. DNA-DNA hybridization studies confirmed that the two patient isolates belonged to the same species but were not closely related to N. africana, N. nova, N. vaccinii, or N. veterana. The patient isolates have been designated N. kruczakiae sp. nov. Because N. africana, N. veterana, and the new species are not readily differentiated from N. nova by phenotypic methods alone, the designation “N. nova complex” can be used to designate isolates such as these that phenotypically resemble N. nova but that have not been definitively characterized by 16S rRNA gene sequencing or DNA-DNA hybridization.
Sole reliance on biochemical methods can limit the clinical microbiology laboratory's ability to identify bacterial pathogens. This study describes the incorporation of DNA pyrosequencing-based identification for routine pathogen identification of atypical clinical isolates in a large children's hospital. The assay capitalized on the highly conserved nature of 16S rRNA genes by positioning amplification and sequencing primers in conserved target sequences flanking the variable V1 and V3 regions. A total of 414 isolates of 312 pediatric patients were tested by DNA pyrosequencing during the time period from December 2003 to July 2006. Seventy-eight different genera were specified by DNA pyrosequencing, and isolates were derived from diverse specimen types. By integrating DNA sequencing of bacterial pathogens with conventional microbiologic methods, isolates that lacked a definitive identification by biochemical testing yielded genus- or species-level identifications in approximately 90% of cases by pyrosequencing. Improvements incorporated into the assay process during the period of clinical testing included software enhancements, improvements in sequencing reagents, and refinements in database search strategies. Coupled with isolation by bacteriologic culture and biochemical testing, DNA pyrosequencing-based bacterial identification was a valuable tool that markedly improved bacterial pathogen identification in a pediatric hospital setting.
Sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene represents a highly accurate and versatile method for bacterial classification and identification, even when the species in question is notoriously difficult to identify by phenotypic means. In this study, we evaluated the utility of 16S rRNA gene sequencing as a means of identifying clinically important Bacteroides species. We sequenced 231 clinical isolates that had been identified by a short biochemical scheme. Based on the sequence analysis, 192 clinical isolates were assigned to an established species, with the other 39 clinical strains revealing five unique sequences that may represent five novel species. This is in contrast to identification obtained from a short biochemical scheme, by which only 73.5% (172 of 231) of isolates were correctly identified to species level. Based on the solid identification obtained from 16S rRNA gene sequencing, the short biochemical scheme was modified and improved to provide clinical laboratories with an inexpensive and simple alternative for the identification of isolates of clinically significant Bacteroides species.
Aims: To define epidemiology, clinical disease, and outcome of gemella bacteraemia by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. To examine the usefulness of the Vitek, API, and ATB systems in identifying two gemella species.
Methods: All α haemolytic streptococci other than Streptococcus pneumoniae isolated from blood cultures during a six year period were identified by conventional biochemical methods, the Vitek system, and the API system. 16S rRNA gene sequencing was performed on all isolates identified by both kits as gemella with ≥ 95% confidence or by either kit as any bacterial species with < 95% confidence. The ATB expression system was used to identify the two isolates that were defined as gemella species by 16S rRNA gene sequencing.
Results: Of the 302 α haemolytic streptococci other than S pneumoniae isolated, one was identified as Gemella morbillorum, and another as Gemella haemolysans by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The patient with monomicrobial G morbillorum bacteraemia was a 66 year old man with community acquired infective endocarditis with septic thromboemboli. The patient with G haemolysans bacteraemia was a 41 year old woman with hospital acquired polymicrobial bacteraemia during the neutropenic period of an autologous bone marrow transplant for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the first case of its kind in the English literature. The API and ATB expression systems only identified the second strain as G haemolysans at 94% and 99% confidence, respectively, whereas the Vitek system identified none of the two strains correctly at > 70% confidence.
Conclusions: Gemella bacteraemia is uncommon. 16S rRNA gene sequencing is the method of choice for identification of gemella and gemella-like isolates.
Gemella; bacteraemia; 16S rRNA sequencing
There have been an increasing number of infections in fish associated with different species of Chryseobacterium, being considered potentially emerging pathogens. Nevertheless the knowledge of the diversity of species associated with fish disease is partial due to the problems for a correct identification at the species level based exclusively on phenotypic laboratory methods.
Chryseobacterium shigense was isolated from the liver, kidney and gills of diseased rainbow trout in different disease episodes that occurred in a fish farm between May 2008 and June 2009. Identity of the isolates was confirmed by 16 S rRNA gene sequencing and phenotypic characterization. Isolates represented a single strain as determined by random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis.
This is the first description of the recovery of C. shigense from clinical specimens in trout, a very different habitat to fresh lactic acid beverage where it was initially isolated.
Previous studies have indicated that the conventional tests used for the identification of mycobacteria may (i) frequently result in erroneous identification and (ii) underestimate the diversity within the genus Mycobacterium. To address this issue in a more systematic fashion, a study comparing phenotypic and molecular methods for the identification of mycobacteria was initiated. Focus was given to isolates which were difficult to identify to species level and which yielded inconclusive results by conventional tests performed under day-to-day routine laboratory conditions. Traditional methods included growth rate, colonial morphology, pigmentation, biochemical profiles, and gas-liquid chromatography of short-chain fatty acids. Molecular identification was done by PCR-mediated partial sequence analysis of the gene encoding the 16S rRNA. A total of 34 isolates was included in this study; 13 of the isolates corresponded to established species, and 21 isolates corresponded to previously uncharacterized taxa. For five isolates, phenotypic and molecular analyses gave identical results. For five isolates, minor discrepancies were present; four isolates remained unidentified after biochemical testing. For 20 isolates, major discrepancies between traditional and molecular typing methods were observed. Retrospective analysis of the data revealed that the discrepant results were without exception due to erroneous biochemical test results or interpretations. In particular, phenotypic identification schemes were compromised with regard to the recognition of previously undescribed taxa. We conclude that molecular typing by 16S rRNA sequence determination is not only more rapid (12 to 36 h versus 4 to 8 weeks) but also more accurate than traditional typing.
Chlamydia psittaci is an intracellular bacterium primarily causing respiratory diseases in birds but may also be transmitted to other animals, including humans. The prevalence of the pathogen in wild birds in Sweden is largely unknown.
DNA was extracted from cloacae swabs and screened for C. psittaci by using a 23S rRNA gene PCR assay. Partial 16S rRNA and ompA gene fragments were sequence determined and phylogenies were analysed by the neighbour-joining method.
Results and conclusion
The C. psittaci prevalence was 1.3% in 319 Peregrine Falcons and White-tailed Sea Eagles, vulnerable top-predators in Sweden. 16S rRNA and ompA gene analysis showed that novel Chlamydia species, as well as novel C. psittaci strains, are to be found among wild birds.
Chlamydia; Sweden; eagle; falcon; zoonosis
Bacterial diversity in contaminated fuels has not been systematically investigated using cultivation-independent methods. The fuel industry relies on phenotypic cultivation-based contaminant identification, which may lack accuracy and neglect difficult-to-culture taxa. By the use of industry practice aerobic cultivation, 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and strain genotyping, a collection of 152 unique contaminant isolates from 54 fuel samples was assembled, and a dominance of Pseudomonas (21%), Burkholderia (7%), and Bacillus (7%) was demonstrated. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 15 samples revealed Proteobacteria and Firmicutes to be the most abundant phyla. When 16S rRNA V6 gene pyrosequencing of four selected fuel samples (indicated by “JW”) was performed, Betaproteobacteria (42.8%) and Gammaproteobacteria (30.6%) formed the largest proportion of reads; the most abundant genera were Marinobacter (15.4%; JW57), Achromobacter (41.6%; JW63), Burkholderia (80.7%; JW76), and Halomonas (66.2%; JW78), all of which were also observed by DGGE. However, the Clostridia (38.5%) and Deltaproteobacteria (11.1%) identified by pyrosequencing in sample JW57 were not observed by DGGE or aerobic culture. Genotyping revealed three instances where identical strains were found: (i) a Pseudomonas sp. strain recovered from 2 different diesel fuel tanks at a single industrial site; (ii) a Mangroveibacter sp. strain isolated from 3 biodiesel tanks at a single refinery site; and (iii) a Burkholderia vietnamiensis strain present in two unrelated automotive diesel samples. Overall, aerobic cultivation of fuel contaminants recovered isolates broadly representative of the phyla and classes present but lacked accuracy by overrepresenting members of certain groups such as Pseudomonas.
Laboratories often receive clinical isolates for bacterial identification that have ambiguous biochemical profiles by conventional testing. With the emergence of 16S rRNA gene sequencing as an identification tool, we evaluated the usefulness of SmartGene IDNS, a 16S rRNA sequence database and software program for microbial identification. Identification by conventional methods of a diverse group of bacterial clinical isolates was compared with gene sequences interrogated by the SmartGene and MicroSeq databases. Of 300 isolates, SmartGene identified 295 (98%) to the genus level and 262 (87%) to the species level, with 5 (2%) being inconclusive. MicroSeq identified 271 (90%) to the genus level and 223 (74%) to the species level, with 29 (10%) being inconclusive. SmartGene and MicroSeq agreed on the genus for 233 (78%) isolates and the species for 212 (71%) isolates. Conventional methods identified 291 (97%) isolates to the genus level and 208 (69%) to the species level, with 9 (3%) being inconclusive. SmartGene, MicroSeq, and conventional identifications agreed for 193 (64%) of the results. Twenty-seven microorganisms were not represented in MicroSeq, compared to only 2 not represented in SmartGene. Overall, SmartGene IDNS provides comprehensive and accurate identification of a diverse group of bacteria and has the added benefit of being a user-friendly program that can be modified to meet the unique needs of clinical laboratories.
Real-time PCR has the potential to streamline detection and identification of Cryptosporidium spp. in human clinical samples. In the present article, we report the first such assay to allow not only detection and differentiation of the most common human pathogens, Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum, but also simultaneous amplification of a region of the small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene, permitting direct sequence analysis to identify any Cryptosporidium species. An internal control is incorporated to identify the presence of PCR inhibitors. Analytical sensitivity was determined to be as low as 200 oocysts per gram of feces processed, equivalent to 2 oocysts per PCR. The C. hominis and C. parvum PCRs specifically detected only species/genotypes in their respective target clades. Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, evaluated against a widely used conventional nested SSU rRNA gene PCR as a nominated gold standard using a panel of 258 (151 positive and 107 negative) samples, were 100% and 99.1%, respectively. The assay agreed with PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the Cryptosporidium oocyst wall protein gene for 134 of 136 (98.5%) samples tested prospectively and typed two additional isolates. The real-time PCR assay was sensitive, specific, and reproducible and significantly improved laboratory work flow and turnaround times.
It has been shown that 40–60% of the bacteria found in different healthy and diseased oral sites still remain to be grown in vitro, phenotypically characterized, and formally named as species. The possibility exists that these as-yet-uncultivated bacteria play important ecological roles in oral bacterial communities and may participate in the pathogenesis of several oral infectious diseases. There is also a potential for these as-yet-uncultivated oral bacteria to take part in extra-oral infections. For a comprehensive characterization of physiological and pathogenic properties as well as antimicrobial susceptibility of individual bacterial species, strains need to be grown in pure culture. Advances in culturing techniques have allowed the cultivation of several oral bacterial taxa only previously known by a 16S rRNA gene sequence signature, and novel species have been proposed. There is a growing need for developing improved methods to cultivate and characterize the as-yet-uncultivated portion of the oral microbiome so as to unravel its role in health and disease.
uncultivated bacteria; oral microbiology; molecular biology methods; taxonomy
Ninety-seven animal, human, and dairy Streptococcus porcinus or Streptococcus pseudoporcinus isolates in the CDC Streptococcus strain collection were evaluated on the basis of DNA-DNA reassociation, 16S rRNA and rpoB gene sequencing, conventional biochemical and Rapid ID 32 Strep identification methods, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing to determine their taxonomic status, characteristics for species differentiation, antimicrobial susceptibility, and relevance of clinical source. Nineteen of the 97 isolates (1 human, 18 swine) were identified as S. porcinus. The remaining 72 human isolates and 6 dairy isolates were identified as S. pseudoporcinus. The use of 16S rRNA or rpoB gene sequencing was required to differentiate S. porcinus from S. pseudoporcinus. The human and dairy S. pseudoporcinus isolates were biochemically distinct from each other as well as distinct by 16S rRNA and rpoB gene sequencing. Therefore, we propose the subspecies denominations S. pseudoporcinus subsp. hominis subsp. nov. for the human isolates and S. pseudoporcinus subsp. lactis subsp. nov. for the dairy isolates. Most strains were susceptible to the antimicrobials tested, with the exception of tetracycline. Two strains of each species were also resistant to clindamycin and erythromycin and carried the erm(A) (S. pseudoporcinus) or the erm(B) (S. porcinus) gene. S. porcinus was identified from a single human isolate recovered from a wound in an abattoir worker. S. pseudoporcinus was primarily isolated from the genitourinary tract of women but was also associated with blood, placental, and wound infections. Isolates reacting with group B antiserum and demonstrating wide beta-hemolysis should be suspected of being S. pseudoporcinus and not S. agalactiae.