A new strain of bacteria, which is identical with a form of skin infection known as Staphylococcus cornubiensis, is to be named after Cornwall as Staphylococcus cornwallsis.
Researchers based from Cornwall at the University of Exeter Medical School and the Department Clinical Microbiology at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, jointly investigated the similarities of the bacteria with its related species. The researchers observed that the strain was unique and it identified with Staphylococcus intermedius group (SIG), mainly found in domestic and pet animals.
The work was published in the science journal International Journal for Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology on September 2018. The project was part of a collaboration and funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
Dr. Michiel Vos, principal investigator on the study at the University of Exeter Medical School said: “Routine hospital microbiology procedures focus on the isolation of well recognized infective species. However, although bacteria on agar plates can look deceptively similar, they often represent a rich genetic diversity, with substantial variation in infectivity and susceptibility to treatments, including antibiotics.”
The scientists have developed and improved the technology that lets to distinguish the species from its related species in a clear and easy way. The entire genome is sequenced to ensure conformity for the species’ unique genetics.
Dr. Aimee Murray, lead author of the study says: “We now need to know how prevalent this new species is in human infections. As some related species are transferred from pets to humans, we also would like to find out whether owning pets, or any other potential risk factors, increase the chance of infection.”
The new strand of bacteria was discovered accidentally when the researchers at Royal Cornwall Hospital were dealing with a new project on increasing the detection of SIG bacteria in diagnostic laboratory.