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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2005 Jun;28(4):316-22.

Alkanindiges hongkongensis sp. nov. A novel Alkanindiges species isolated from a patient with parotid abscess.

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


A bacterium was isolated from the abscess pus of a 72-year-old patient with Warthin's tumor and parotid abscess. The cells were aerobic, non-motile, Gram-negative but difficult to be destained, non-sporulating, coccobacillus. The bacterium grew poorly on sheep blood agar and MacConkey agar as non-hemolytic colonies of 0.5 mm in diameter after 24h of incubation at 37 degrees C in ambient air. Growth was enhanced by Tween 80. It produces catalase but not cytochrome oxidase. Sequencing of the cloned 16S rRNA PCR products of the bacterium revealed three different 16S rRNA gene sequences, with 12 - 31 bp differences among them. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the bacterium is closely related to Alkanindiges illinoisensis, with 5.0 - 5.9% differences between the 16S rRNA gene sequence of the bacterium and that of A. illinoisensis. Tryptophan auxotrophic strain of Acinetobacter trpE27 transformed with DNA extracted from the bacterium was unable to grow on tryptophan deficient medium, indicating that the bacterium was not a strain of Acinetobacter. The G+C content of the bacterium (mean +/-SD) was 46.9+4.3%. A new species, Alkanindiges hongkongensis sp. nov., is proposed, for which HKU9T is the type strain. Isolates with "small colonies" that are apparently Acinetobacter-like species should be carefully identified. Growth enhancement with aliphatic hydrocarbons should be looked for and 16S rRNA gene sequencing performed in order to find more potential cases of Alkanindiges infections, as well as to define the epidemiology, clinical spectrum, and outcome of infections associated with this genus.

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