A new study published in PLoS Pathogens says that researchers have discovered a new bacterium in an immune-compromised patient. This bacterium, which belongs to the family Acetobacteraceae is a commonly found in the environment and is used in the vinegar-making industry.
The bacterium was identified in a patient with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), which is a rare genetic disorder that compromises the immune system. The new bacterium was responsible for fever, lymph node inflammation, and weight loss in the patient, but did not cause death. "This is the first reported case of invasive human disease caused by any of the Acetobacteraceae," according to the article. Most bacteria and fungi, which invade the human body, are easily warded off by the immune system. However in CGD, the immune system is heavily compromised and cannot discharge normal functions, thus allowing potentially fatal infections to develop. "Our first concern was to determine whether this organism was truly associated with his clinical syndrome," the researchers wrote. They found the bacterium in the patients' swollen lymph nodes. "Given its apparent low virulence, further investigation of this organism may shed light on the mechanisms of microbial killing in CGD. Comparing the genome of this organism to other 13 available genomes of CGD pathogens may provide clues to virulence properties that they share in common," they concluded.