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Streptococcus tigurinis says, “Hello world”

July 29, 2015

Dental blog article written October 23, 2012

A newly discovered and named bacterium has been discovered: Streptococcus tigurinus.  It closely resembles other Streptococcus strains that colonize the oral cavity.  It was isolated from multiple blood cultures of patients suffering from endocarditis, meningitis, and spondylodiscitis.  It is believed that bleeding gums may have been the likely point of entry into these patients’ bloodstreams.

Gene sequencing studies proved the new bacterium to be a member of the Steptococcus mitis group (one of the Bad Boy Gangs of Dentistry).  However, since it does not correspond to any known species, it is thus believed to be a new (to man) species.  Strep mitis, a regular inhabitant of the mouth, is implicated in many of the above mentioned diseases after being isolated from the bloodstream of patients with these diseases.

Studying this bacterium and its strategies for causing disease is expected to shed light on other species, as well as indicate drug designs that hopefully stymie this and related bacterium.  Andrea Zbinden, MD, led the study and further reading can be found at the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology:

ijs.sgmjournals.org/content/early/2012/01/16/ijs.0.038299-0

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