Brucella papionis sp. nov., isolated from baboons (Papio spp.)

Adrian M. Whatmore, Nicholas Davison, Axel Cloeckaert, Sascha Al Dahouk, Michel S. Zygmunt, Simon D. Brew, Lorraine L. Perrett, Mark S. Koylass, Gilles Vergnaud, Christine Quance, Holger C. Scholz, Edward J. Dick, Gene Hubbard, Natalia E. Schlabritz-Loutsevitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Two Gram-negative, non-motile, non-spore-forming coccoid bacteria (strains F8/08-60T and F8/08-61) isolated from clinical specimens obtained from baboons (Papio spp.) that had delivered stillborn offspring were subjected to a polyphasic taxonomic study. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities, both strains, which possessed identical sequences, were assigned to the genus Brucella. This placement was confirmed by extended multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA), where both strains possessed identical sequences, and whole-genome sequencing of a representative isolate. All of the above analyses suggested that the two strains represent a novel lineage within the genus Brucella. The strains also possessed a unique profile when subjected to the phenotyping approach classically used to separate species of the genusBrucella, reacting only with Brucella A monospecific antiserum, being sensitive to the dyes thionin and fuchsin, being lysed by bacteriophage Wb, Bk2 and Fi phage at routine test dilution (RTD) but only partially sensitive to bacteriophage Tb, and with no requirement for CO2 and no production of H2S but strong urease activity. Biochemical profiling revealed a pattern of enzyme activity and metabolic capabilities distinct from existing species of the genusBrucella. Molecular analysis of the omp2 locus genes showed that both strains had a novel combination of two highly similar omp2b gene copies. The two strains shared a unique fingerprint profile of the multiple-copy Brucella-specific element IS711. Like MLSA, a multilocus variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) showed that the isolates clustered together very closely, but represent a distinct group within the genus Brucella. Isolates F8/08-60T and F8/08-61 could be distinguished clearly from all known species of the genus Brucella and their biovars by both phenotypic and molecular properties. Therefore, by applying the species concept for the genusBrucella suggested by the ICSP Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Brucella, they represent a novel species within the genus Brucella, for which the nameBrucella papionis sp. nov. is proposed, with the type strain F8/08-60T (= NCTC 13660T = CIRMBP 0958T).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4120-4128
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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