Researchers discover 35 new bacteria in patient samples

University of Basel (Switzerland) and University Hospital Basel researchers discovered 35 unknown bacterial pathogens in blood or tissue samples, including seven that caused clinical infections.

The researchers have been collecting and analyzing patient samples containing unknown germs since 2014. They discovered 35 new species of germs and classified 26 as hard to identify, meaning their genome sequencing had only been added to databases recently or a correct taxonomic description had only been created shortly before, according to a Jan. 8 hospital news release.

Conventional lab methods, such as mass spectroscopy or sequencing a small part of the bacterial genome, had failed to identify these germs. Researchers sequenced the complete genetic material of each bacteria and compared that sequence to known strains.

Seven of the new strains had caused infections in humans, according to an evaluation of patient data.

"Such direct links between newly identified species of bacteria and their clinical relevance have rarely been published in the past," Daniel Goldenberger,  PhD, microbiologist at the University of Basel, said in the report.

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