Enterobacter hormaechei subsp. oharae subsp. nov., E. hormaechei subsp. hormaechei comb. nov., and E. hormaechei subsp. steigerwaltii subsp. nov., three new subspecies of clinical importance

Harald Hoffmann, Sibylle Stindl, Wolfgang Ludwig, Anita Stumpf, Andre Mehlen, Daniel Monget, Denis Pierard, Stefan Ziesing, Jürgen Heesemann, Andreas Roggenkamp, Karl H. Schleifer

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Abstract

Six species and six additional genovars are combined within the so-called Enterobacter cloacae complex, with one of them being the species Enterobacter hormaechei. In a recent population genetic study, two genetic clusters were found in close phylogenetic proximity to the genetic cluster of E. hormaechei. In order to prove the hypothesis that these three genetic clusters belong to the same species, we performed cross-hybridization experiments in microplates with DNAs of representatives of each genetic cluster. The close phylogenetic relationship among the clusters was reflected by their relatively low ΔTm values, ranging from 0.3 to 4.8, confirming the hypothesis that the clusters are parts of the same species. These clusters can be distinguished from the other species of the E. cloacae complex, which have ΔTm values of 5.6 to 10.3. Forty-eight E. hormaechei strains from the different genetic clusters were phenotypically characterized with 129 biochemical tests. In this way, E. hormaechei could be differentiated from the other species of the E. cloacae complex because it tests negative in the 3-hydroxy-butyrate test. The three genetic clusters of E. hormaechei could also be differentiated from each other by using phenotypic tests. Hence, we propose three new subspecies of E. hormaechei corresponding to genetic clusters VI, VII, and VIII of the E. cloacae complex. E. hormaechei subsp. hormaechei comb, nov. corresponds to the original species description, as it gives negative results for the adonitol, D-arabitol, D-sorbitol, and D-melibiose tests and a positive result for the dulcitol test. E. hormaechei subsp. oharae subsp. nov. gives negative results for the dulcitol, adonitol, and D-arabitol tests and positive results for the D-sorbitol and D-melibiose tests. E. hormaechei subsp. steigerwaltii subsp. nov. gives a negative result for the dulcitol test and positive results for the adonitol, D-arabitol, D-sorbitol, and D-melibiose tests. Among the members of the E. cloacae complex, E. hormaechei seems to be the species most frequently recovered from clinical specimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3297-3303
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Volume43
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2005

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