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Globicatella bacteraemia identified by 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing
  1. S K P Lau1,2,3,
  2. P C Y Woo1,2,3,
  3. N K H Li1,
  4. J L L Teng1,
  5. K-W Leung1,
  6. K H L Ng4,
  7. T-L Que4,
  8. K-Y Yuen1,2,3
  1. 1Department of Microbiology, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  2. 2Center of Infection and Immunology, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  3. 3State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  4. 4Department of Pathology, Tuen Mun Hospital, Hong Kong
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr K-Y Yuen
 Department of Microbiology, University of Hong Kong, University Pathology Building, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong; hkumicro{at}hkucc.hku.hk

Abstract

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.

  • GPI, gram positive identification
  • rRNA, ribosomal RNA
  • Globicatella
  • bacteraemia
  • 16S rRNA gene sequencing

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