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J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2010 Jun;11(6):391-401. doi: 10.1631/jzus.B1000056.

Leptotrichia hongkongensis sp. nov., a novel Leptotrichia species with the oral cavity as its natural reservoir.

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State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


A straight, non-sporulating, Gram-variable bacillus (HKU24(T)) was recovered from the blood culture of a patient with metastatic breast carcinoma. After repeated subculturing in BACTEC Plus Anaerobic/F blood culture broth, HKU24(T) grew on brucella agar as non-hemolytic, pinpoint colonies after 96 h of incubation at 37 degrees C in an anaerobic environment and aerobic environment with 5% CO2. Growth was enhanced with a streak of Staphylococcus aureus. HKU24(T) was non-motile and catalase-negative, but positive for alkaline phosphatase, beta-glucosidase, and alpha-glucosidase. It hydrolyzed phenylphosphonate and reduced resazurin. 16S rRNA, groEL, gyrB, recA, and rpoB sequencing showed that HKU24(T) occupies a distinct phylogenetic position among the Leptotrichia species, being most closely related to Leptotrichia trevisanii. Using HKU24(T) groEL, gyrB, recA, and rpoB gene-specific primers, fragments of these genes were amplified from one of 20 oral specimens. Based on phenotypic and genotypic characteristics, we propose a new species, Leptotrichia hongkongensis sp. nov., to describe this bacterium.

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