In a unique discovery made at the NIH Clinical Center, scientists found a new bacterium and determined that it can cause disease in humans.
The image seen here is a gram stain used to help identify the bacterium. It is a novel member of the Acetobacteraceae family. The family of bacteria is prevalent in the environment but has not been associated with human disease before.
Researchers found the organism in a patient with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) and determined the bacteria can cause serious lymph node infections in people with CGD, which is a rare immune disorder. After the initial discovery, scientists isolated the bacteria in two other CC patients with CGD.
The find was made with the teamwork and tenacity of people in the CC’s microbiology service, Department of Laboratory Medicine, and the NIAID’s Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases. Scientists are working to learn more about the bacterium and whether it plays a role in other diseases.
Researchers named the bacterium Granulibacter bethesdensis. The first half of the name is in recognition of chronic granulomatous disease. The second half honors Bethesda, the town where it was discovered.
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