Accurate identification of fastidious Gram-negative rods: integration of both conventional phenotypic methods and 16S rRNA gene analysis.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: 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. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSIONS: 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.
Project description:To compare commonly used phenotypic methods with genotypic identification methods 47 clinical isolates of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CONS), 10 CONS ATCC strains, and a Staphylococcus aureus clinical isolate were identified using the API Staph ID test, BD Phoenix Automated Microbiology System, and 16S rRNA gene and tuf gene sequencing. When necessary part of the sodA gene was sequenced for definitive identification. The results show that tuf gene sequencing is the best method for identification of CONS, but the API Staph ID test is a reasonably reliable phenotypic alternative. The performance of the BD Phoenix Automated Microbiology System for identification of CONS is poor. The present study also showed that although genotypic methods are clearly superior to phenotypic identifications, a drawback of sequence-based genotypic methods may be a lack of quality of deposited sequences in data banks. In particular, 16S rRNA gene sequencing suffers from the lack of high quality among sequences deposited in GenBank. Furthermore, genotypic identification based on 16S rRNA sequences has limited discriminating power for closely related Staphylococcus species. We propose partial sequencing of the tuf gene as a reliable and reproducible method for identification of CONS species.
Project description:Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has entered clinical laboratories, facilitating identification of bacteria. Here, we evaluated the MALDI Biotyper (Bruker Daltonics) for the identification of fastidious Gram-negative rods (GNR). Three sample preparation methods, direct colony transfer, direct transfer plus on-target formic acid preparation, and ethanol-formic acid extraction, were analyzed for 151 clinical isolates. Direct colony transfer applied with the manufacturer's interpretation criteria resulted in overall species and genus identification rates of 43.0% and 32.5%, respectively; 23.2% of the isolates were not identified, and two misidentifications (1.3%) were observed. The species identification rates increased to 46.4% and 53.7% for direct transfer plus formic acid preparation and ethanol-formic acid extraction, respectively. In addition, we evaluated score value cutoff alterations. The identification rates hardly increased by reducing the genus cutoff, while reducing the 2.0 species cutoff to 1.9 and to 1.8 increased the identification rates to up to 66.2% without increasing the rate of misidentifications. This study shows that fastidious GNR can reliably be identified using the MALDI Biotyper. However, the identification rates do not reach those of nonfastidious GNR such as the Enterobacteriaceae. In addition, two approaches optimizing the identification of fastidious GNR by the MALDI Biotyper were demonstrated: formic acid-based on-target sample treatment and reductions in cutoff scores to increase the species identification rates.
Project description: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.
Project description:The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive update on the current classification and identification of Haemophilus and Aggregatibacter species with exclusive or predominant host specificity for humans. Haemophilus influenzae and some of the other Haemophilus species are commonly encountered in the clinical microbiology laboratory and demonstrate a wide range of pathogenicity, from life-threatening invasive disease to respiratory infections to a nonpathogenic, commensal lifestyle. New species of Haemophilus have been described (Haemophilus pittmaniae and Haemophilus sputorum), and the new genus Aggregatibacter was created to accommodate some former Haemophilus and Actinobacillus species (Aggregatibacter aphrophilus, Aggregatibacter segnis, and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans). Aggregatibacter species are now a dominant etiology of infective endocarditis caused by fastidious organisms (HACEK endocarditis), and A. aphrophilus has emerged as an important cause of brain abscesses. Correct identification of Haemophilus and Aggregatibacter species based on phenotypic characterization can be challenging. It has become clear that 15 to 20% of presumptive H. influenzae isolates from the respiratory tracts of healthy individuals do not belong to this species but represent nonhemolytic variants of Haemophilus haemolyticus. Due to the limited pathogenicity of H. haemolyticus, the proportion of misidentified strains may be lower in clinical samples, but even among invasive strains, a misidentification rate of 0.5 to 2% can be found. Several methods have been investigated for differentiation of H. influenzae from its less pathogenic relatives, but a simple method for reliable discrimination is not available. With the implementation of identification by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry, the more rarely encountered species of Haemophilus and Aggregatibacter will increasingly be identified in clinical microbiology practice. However, identification of some strains will still be problematic, necessitating DNA sequencing of multiple housekeeping gene fragments or full-length 16S rRNA genes.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Globicatella are streptococcus-like organisms that have been rarely isolated from clinical specimens. Their epidemiology and clinical significance remain largely unknown. AIMS: To describe two cases of Globicatella bacteraemia identified by 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequencing. METHODS: Two unidentified streptococcus-like bacteria isolated from blood cultures of patients were subject to 16S rRNA gene sequencing. RESULTS: Two cases of Globicatella bacteraemia were identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. In the first case, a gram positive coccus was isolated from the blood culture of an 80 year old woman with diabetes mellitus and nosocomial sepsis, who died the day after developing the bacteraemia. The bacterium was unidentified by conventional phenotypic tests, the Vitek (gram positive identification) and the ATB expression (ID32 Strep) systems. In the second case, a similar bacterium was isolated from the blood culture of a 92 year old woman with polymicrobial acute pyelonephritis complicated by septic shock, who subsequently recovered after antibiotic treatment. 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the two isolates showed 0.5% nucleotide difference from that of G. sulfidifaciens and 0.7% nucleotide difference from that of G. sanguinis, indicating that they were Globicatella species. CONCLUSIONS: Because Globicatella is rarely encountered in clinical microbiology laboratories, it may have been overlooked or misidentified in these cases. 16S rRNA gene sequencing is a useful tool to better characterise the epidemiology and clinical significance of Globicatella.
Project description: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.
Project description:Nonpigmented and late-pigmenting rapidly growing mycobacteria (RGM) are increasingly isolated in clinical microbiology laboratories. Their accurate identification remains problematic because classification is labor intensive work and because new taxa are not often incorporated into classification databases. Also, 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis underestimates RGM diversity and does not distinguish between all taxa. We determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the rpoB gene, which encodes the bacterial beta subunit of the RNA polymerase, for 20 RGM type strains. After using in-house software which analyzes and graphically represents variability stretches of 60 bp along the nucleotide sequence, our analysis focused on a 723-bp variable region exhibiting 83.9 to 97% interspecies similarity and 0 to 1.7% intraspecific divergence. Primer pair Myco-F-Myco-R was designed as a tool for both PCR amplification and sequencing of this region for molecular identification of RGM. This tool was used for identification of 63 RGM clinical isolates previously identified at the species level on the basis of phenotypic characteristics and by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Of 63 clinical isolates, 59 (94%) exhibited <2% partial rpoB gene sequence divergence from 1 of 20 species under study and were regarded as correctly identified at the species level. Mycobacterium abscessus and Mycobacterium mucogenicum isolates were clearly distinguished from Mycobacterium chelonae; Mycobacterium mageritense isolates were clearly distinguished from "Mycobacterium houstonense." Four isolates were not identified at the species level because they exhibited >3% partial rpoB gene sequence divergence from the corresponding type strain; they belonged to three taxa related to M. mucogenicum, Mycobacterium smegmatis, and Mycobacterium porcinum. For M. abscessus and M. mucogenicum, this partial sequence yielded a high genetic heterogeneity within the clinical isolates. We conclude that molecular identification by analysis of the 723-bp rpoB sequence is a rapid and accurate tool for identification of RGM.
Project description:Whole genome sequencing (WGS) has become an accessible tool in clinical microbiology, and it allowed us to identify a novel Cupriavidus species. We isolated Gram-negative bacillus from the blood of an immunocompromised patient, and phenotypical and molecular identifications were performed. Phenotypic identification discrepancies were noted between the Vitek 2 (bioMérieux, Marcy-l'Étoile, France) and Vitek MS systems (bioMérieux). Using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, it was impossible to identify the pathogen to the species levels. WGS was performed using the Illumina MiSeq platform (Illumina, San Diego, CA), and genomic sequence database searching with a TrueBacTM ID-Genome system (ChunLab, Inc., Seoul, Republic of Korea) showed no strains with average nucleotide identity values higher than 95.0%, which is the cut-off for species-level identification. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the bacteria was a new Cupriavidus species that formed a subcluster with Cupriavidus gilardii. WGS holds great promise for accurate molecular identification beyond 16S rRNA gene sequencing in clinical microbiology.
Project description:Atopobium species are Gram-positive, anaerobic, catalase-negative, fastidious bacteria belonging to the family Coriobacteriaceae. We report the isolation of an Atopobium-like species in a patient with Fournier's gangrene and highlight the role of 16S rRNA gene sequencing in the identification of fastidious organisms in the clinical laboratory.
Project description:A molecular method based on restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of PCR-amplified fragments of the 23S rRNA gene was designed to rapidly identify Listeria strains to the species level. Two fragments (S1, 460 bp, and S2, 890 bp) were amplified from boiled DNA. S2 was cut with the restriction enzymes XmnI or CfoI and, if needed, S1 was digested by either AluI or ClaI. This method was first optimized with six reference strains and then applied to 182 isolates collected from effluents of treatment plants. All isolates were also identified by the API Listeria kit, hemolysis, and phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C production (PI-PLC) on ALOA medium. The PCR-RFLP method unambiguously identified 160 environmental strains, including 131 in concordance with the API system, and revealed that 22 isolates were mixed cultures of Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria innocua. Discrepant results were resolved by a multiplex PCR on the iap gene, which confirmed the PCR-RFLP data for 49 of the 51 discordances, including the 22 mixed cultures. Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene for 12 selected strains and reconstruction of a phylogenetic tree validated the molecular methods, except for two unclassifiable strains. The 158 single identifiable isolates were 92 L. monocytogenes (including seven nonhemolytic and PI-PLC-negative strains), 61 L. innocua, 4 Listeria seeligeri, and 1 Listeria welshimeri strain. The PCR-RFLP method proposed here provides rapid, easy-to-use, inexpensive, and reliable identification of the six Listeria species. Moreover, it can detect mixtures of Listeria species and thus is particularly adapted to environmental and food microbiology.