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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2004 Aug;49(4):255-63.

Eggerthella hongkongensis sp. nov. and eggerthella sinensis sp. nov., two novel Eggerthella species, account for half of the cases of Eggerthella bacteremia.

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Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, University Pathology Building, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong.


Eggerthella, one of the human gut flora, was rarely reported to cause bacteremia in the literature. We describe the application of 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing in defining the epidemiology and clinical significance of Eggerthella bacteremia during a 4-year period. Among 55 clinically significant blood culture isolates of anaerobic Gram-positive bacilli, 5 were identified as E. lenta and 5 belonged to 2 novel Eggerthella species, proposed as E. hongkongensis and E. sinensis, respectively. The 10 patients with Eggerthella bacteremia were adults, and 9 had underlying diseases. In all cases, the source of the bacteremia was likely from endogenous flora. Septic shock was a complication in 4 patients, and 3 patients died. The present study suggests that Eggerthella bacteremia is much more common than expected and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Moreover, the 2 novel species account for half of the cases of Eggerthella bacteremia.

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