Open Access Research article

Identification of an unusual Brucella strain (BO2) from a lung biopsy in a 52 year-old patient with chronic destructive pneumonia

Rebekah V Tiller1, Jay E Gee1, David R Lonsway1, Sonali Gribble23, Scott C Bell2, Amy V Jennison4, John Bates4, Chris Coulter23, Alex R Hoffmaster1 and Barun K De1*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases and Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA

2 Infection Management Service and Microbiology, The Prince Charles Hospital, Rode Road Chermside, Queensland 4032, Australia

3 Pathology Queensland Central Laboratory, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston Road, Queensland 4029, Australia

4 Clinical and Statewide Services Division, Queensland Health, 39 Kessels Road, Coopers Plains, Queensland 4108, Australia

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BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:23  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-10-23

Published: 27 January 2010



Brucellosis is primarily a zoonotic disease caused by Brucella species. There are currently ten Brucella spp. including the recently identified novel B. inopinata sp. isolated from a wound associated with a breast implant infection. In this study we report on the identification of an unusual Brucella-like strain (BO2) isolated from a lung biopsy in a 52-year-old patient in Australia with a clinical history of chronic destructive pneumonia.


Standard biochemical profiles confirmed that the unusual strain was a member of the Brucella genus and the full-length 16S rRNA gene sequence was 100% identical to the recently identified B. inopinata sp. nov. (type strain BO1T). Additional sequence analysis of the recA, omp2a and 2b genes; and multiple locus sequence analysis (MLSA) demonstrated that strain BO2 exhibited significant similarity to the B. inopinata sp. compared to any of the other Brucella or Ochrobactrum species. Genotyping based on multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) established that the BO2 and BO1Tstrains form a distinct phylogenetic cluster separate from the other Brucella spp.


Based on these molecular and microbiological characterizations, we propose that the BO2 strain is a novel lineage of the newly described B. inopinata species.