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Granulicatella [gran'yoo-lik-e-tel"e].

In 1961, Frenkel and Hirsch described strains of streptococci isolated from cases of bacterial endocarditis that grew only in the presence of other bacteria, around which they formed satellite colonies, or in media enriched with sulfhydryl compounds, such as cysteine. These nutritionally variant streptococci were eventually assigned the species Streptococcus defectivus (Latin for "deficient") and S. adjacens (because it grows adjacent to other bacteria).

On the basis of later research, these were placed in a new genus Abiotrophia (Greek a, "un-," + bios, "life," + trophe, "nutrition") as A. adiacens and A. defectiva. In 1998 and 1999, 2 additional species of Abiotrophia were described, A. elegans (Latin, "fastidious," referring to fastidious growth requirements) and A. balaenopterae (isolated from a minke whale [Balaenoptera acutorostrata]). In 2000, these new species, along with A. adiacens, were reclassified in the new genus Granulicatella (Latin granulum, "small grain," + catella, "small chain").

DOI: 10.3201/eid2409.ET2409


(1.) Bouvet A, Grimont F, Grimont PA. Streptococcus 4. defectivus sp. nov. and Streptococcus adjacens sp. nov., nutritionally variant streptococci from human clinical specimens. Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1989; 39:290-4.

(2.) Collins MD, Lawson PA. The genus Abiotrophia (Kawamura et al.) is not monophyletic: proposal of Granulicatella gen. nov., Granulicatella adiacens 5. comb. nov., Granulicatella elegans comb. nov. and Granulicatella balaenopterae comb. nov. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2000; 50:365-9.

(3.) Frenkel A, Hirsch W. Spontaneous development 6. of L forms of streptococci requiring secretions of other bacteria or sulphydryl compounds for normal growth. Nature. 1961; 191:728-30. 10.1038/191728a0

(4.) Kawamura Y, Hou XG, Sultana F, Liu S, Yamamoto H, Ezaki T. Transfer of Streptococcus adjacens and Streptococcus defectivus to Abiotrophia gen. nov. as Abiotrophia adiacens comb. nov. and Abiotrophia defectiva comb. nov., respectively. Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1995; 45:798-803. 00207713-45-4-798

(5.) Lawson PA, Foster G, Falsen E, Sjoden B, Collins MD. Abiotrophia balaenopterae sp. nov., isolated from the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1999; 49:503-6. 10.1099/00207713-49-2-503

(6.) Roggenkamp A, Abele-Horn M, Trebesius KH, Tretter U, Autenrieth IB, Heesemann J. Abiotrophia elegans sp. nov., a possible pathogen in patients with culture-negative endocarditis. J Clin Microbiol. 1998; 36:100-4.

Ronnie Henry

Address for correspondence: Ronnie Henry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop E03, Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA; email:

Caption: Figure. Blood agar plates with (left) and without (right) pyridoxal supplement from a study of neonatal Granulicatella elegans bacteremia, London, UK. Image from Neonatal Granulicatella elegans Bacteremia, London, UK; Emerging Infectious Diseases Vol. 19, no. 7, July 2013.

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Title Annotation:etymologia
Author:Henry, Ronnie
Publication:Emerging Infectious Diseases
Date:Sep 1, 2018
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