Bordetella trematum

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Bordetella trematum
Scientific classification edit
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Betaproteobacteria
Order: Burkholderiales
Family: Alcaligenaceae
Genus: Bordetella
B. trematum
Binomial name
Bordetella trematum
Vandamme et al. 1996[1]
  • LMG 13506T
  • LMG 14446
  • LMG 14447
  • LMG 14448
  • LMG 14523
  • LMG 14991
  • LMG 14992
  • LMG 14993
  • LMG 15543
  • LMG 16652

Bordetella trematum is a species of Gram-negative bacteria identified in 1996 by comparison of 10 strains of B. trematum against other well characterized Bordetella and Alcaligenes species.[2] The term trema refers to something pierced or penetrated, or to a gap. "Trematum" pertains to open things, and refers to the presence of bacteria in wounds and other exposed parts of the body.[2] Strain LMG 13506T is the reference strain for this species.[2]


Bordetella species typically infect the respiratory tracts of humans, but B. trematum has never been isolated from a human or animal respiratory tract. It has been isolated from human ear infection and limb wounds.[2] Below is a list of known B. trematum strains, alternative strain designation, and the date and source where they were first isolated:[2]

Strain Alternative Designation Date Source
LMG 13506T 1779T Unknown Chronic otitis media, human, Germany
LMG 14446 CCUG 13902 1980 Leg wound
LMG 14447 CCUG 13905 1980 Ankle wound
LMG 14448 CCUG 31299A Unknown Unknown
LMG 14523 CCUG 24727 1983 Leg wound, United States
LMG 14991 CCUG 13903A 1980 Leg wound
LMG 14992 CCUG 13903B 1980 Leg wound
LMG 14993 CCUG 13904 1980 Arm wound
LMG 115543 CCUG 14939 1983 United States
LMG 16652 DMMZ 1733 Unknown 31-year-old man, chronic otitis media, Switzerland


Bordetella trematum is a Gram-negative, capsulated, non-spore-forming, rod about 0.5 μm wide and 1.0-1.8 μm long, but rods as long as 2.4 μm have been observed.[2] It grows aerobically at temperatures ranging from 25-42 °C, with optimal temperature for growth ranging from 35-37 °C. Microaerobic growth may be observed at optimal temperatures.[2] It is motile via peritrichous flagella.[2] B. trematum is catalase positive.[2] It is unique in being oxidase negative, since all other species of Bordetella are oxidase positive.[3][4]

Bordetella trematum may be cultured on horse blood agar, MacConkey agar, and Bordet-Gengou agar. When grown on Bordet-Gengou agar, which is the standard agar for Bordetella isolation, colonies are convex, pearly, smooth, almost transparent, and glistening, and are surrounded by a zone of hemolysis. When grown on blood agar, colonies are grayish cream to white, circular, and convex.[2]


Little is known about the metabolism of the species B. trematum since it is relatively newly discovered. Like all Bordetella species, B. trematum is a chemoorganotroph and requires nicotinamide, organic sulfur such as cysteine, and organic nitrogen such as amino acids for growth by respiratory metabolism.[2] Its metabolism is not saccharolytic, meaning it does not use any form sugar for energy.[2] Six of the ten known strains are able to reduce nitrate to nitrite.[2] It is indole negative and urease negative.[2]


DNA-rRNA hybridization was used to place B. trematum LMG 13506T in the family Alcaligenaceae.[2] Amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis revealed a 94% similarity between the B. trematum reference strain and the Bordatella reference species, B. pertussis.[2] Later, additional evidence to determine placement at the genus level came from DNA-DNA hybridization of B. trematum strains LMG 13506 and LMG 14446 against reference strains of other Bordetella and Alcaligenes species. Results showed the species B. trematum to be most like members of the genus Bordetella.[2] SDS-PAGE analysis of whole-cell proteins allowed for development of a dendrogram displaying that Bordetella is not monophyletic.[2] DNA-rRNA hybridization and 16S rRNA sequence analysis shows a close relationship between Bordetella and Alcaligenes.[2] It is often difficult to differentiate between the two genera; in fact, some species across the genera are phenotypically identical.[2]

Bordetella trematum and B. holmesii are the only species that do not colonize the respiratory tract. B. pertussis and B. parapertussis are respiratory pathogens that cause pertussis. B. bronchiseptica and B. avium are respiratory pathogens of other animals. B. hinzii is not pathogenic and colonizes the respiratory tract of birds. B. holmesii has been isolated from human blood.[2] Members of the genus Alcaligenes colonize humans, but not the respiratory tract, and soil and water.[2]


The B. trematum genome was sequenced in 2013, and is currently undergoing annotation.[5] The genome is estimated to possess 4,145 coding sequences with the majority of sequences coding for amino acids, amino acid derivatives, and carbohydrate pathways. About 184 genes are predicted to be involved in membrane transport.[5] It has a 64-65% GC content.[2] The total genome size is not currently known.


Bordetella trematum is a nonpathogenic,[4] opportunistic[3] organism whose sole source of isolation is open, human wounds.[2] It can be ridded from the body without medical intervention.[3]

Bordetella endotoxins are unique to the genus, species, and strain. B. trematum is the only Bordetella species with a semirough lipopolysaccharide which contains a single O-unit. The lipid A unit of B. trematum is identical to that of the opportunistic bacterium B. hinzii, but unlike any other Bordetella species.[6]


  1. ^ "Taxonomy Browser: Bordatella trematum". NCBI. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Vandamme, P; M Heyndrickx; M Vancanneyt; B Hoste; P De Vos; E Falsen; K Kersters; K-H Hinz (October 1996). "Bordetella trematum sp. nov., Isolated from Wounds and Ear Infections in Humans, and Reassessment of Alcaligenes denitrificans Ruger and Tan 1983". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 46 (4): 849–858. doi:10.1099/00207713-46-4-849. PMID 8863408.
  3. ^ a b c Daxboeck, F; E Goerzer; P Apfalter; M Nehr; R Krause (November 2004). "Isolation of Bordetella trematum from diabetic leg ulcer". Diabetic Medicine. 21 (11): 1247–1248. doi:10.1111/j.1464-5491.2004.01310.x. PMID 15498093.
  4. ^ a b Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, Second Edition, Volume 2, Part C. 2005. doi:10.1007/0-387-29298-5. ISBN 978-0-387-24145-6.
  5. ^ a b Shah, N R; M Moska; A Novikv; M B Perry; M Hirst; M Caroff; R C Fernandez (September–October 2013). "Draft Genome Sequences of Bordatella hinzii and Bordetella trematum". Genome Announcements. 1 (5): e00838–e00913. doi:10.1128/genomeA.00838-13. PMC 3813182. PMID 24158552.
  6. ^ Caroff, Martine; Laurent Aussel; Hassan Zarrouk; Adele Martin; James Richards; Helene Therisod; Malcolm Perry; Doris Karibian (February 2001). "Structure variability and originality of the Bordetella endotoxins". Innate Immunity. 7 (1): 63–68. doi:10.1177/09680519010070011101. PMID 11521085.

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