Xenorhabdus luminescens (DNA hybridization group 5) from human clinical specimens

J. J. Farmer, J. H. Jorgensen, P. A.D. Grimont, R. J. Akhurst, G. O. Poinar, E. Ageron, G. V. Pierce, J. A. Smith, G. P. Carter, K. L. Wilson, F. W. Hickman-Brenner

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92 Scopus citations


An unusual isolate from a human leg wound was identified as Xenorhabdus luminescens. This finding led to the discovery or isolation of four additional strains, two from blood and two from wounds. Three of the five strains were from patients in San Antonio, Tex. Three strains were studied by DNA-DNA hybridization (S1 nuclease-trichloroacetic acid method) and were 77 to 100% related to each other, 34% related to the type strain of X. luminescens, 35 to 40% related to three of Grimont's other DNA hybridization groups of X. luminescens, and 9% related to the type strain of Xenorhabdus nematophilus. The new group of five strains was designated X. luminescens DNA hybridization group 5. All five strains were very inactive biochemically and fermented only D-glucose and D-mannose. The key reactions for recognizing this new organism are yellow pigment production, negative test for nitrate reduction to nitrite, weak bioluminescence (10 to 15 min of dark adaptation is required to see the weak light produced), and a unique hemolytic reaction on sheep blood agar plates incubated at 25°C. Two case histories of strains from wounds are given; these suggest that X. luminescens DNA hybridization group 5 may be a new bacterial agent that causes wound infections. The two cases of wound infection, along with the two blood isolates, suggest that the new organism is clinically significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1594-1600
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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