The bacteria were found in the blood of two human patients during blood tests as part of routine medical care. The new bacteria, both of which are in the Enterobacter genus, were found to be resistant to multiple antibiotics. The researchers named the newly discovered species Enterobacter huaxiensis and Enterobacter chuandaensis. The bacteria were named after the region in which they were discovered and Sichuan University, where the authors are based.
Enterobacter are not usually harmful and exist as part of the healthy gut microflora. However, when these bacteria enter the bloodstream, respiratory system or the urinary tract they can cause disease. Enterobacter infection in the blood can lead to diseases including meningitis and bacteraemia, and Enterobacter in the lungs can lead to pneumonia. Bacteraemia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream and can lead to serious conditions including sepsis and septic shock. The discovery of E. huaxiensis and E. chuandaensis was reported in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, along with a description of the new species and their antimicrobial resistance profiles. The full scientific paper can be found on the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology website here. (DOI: 10.1099/ijsem.0.003207)