From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Serratia marcescens 01.jpg
Serratia marcescens, a typical species, on XLD agar.[1]
Scientific classification

Bizio 1823[2][3]

S. aquatilis[4]
S. entomophila
S. ficaria
S. fonticola
S. glossinae[4]
S. grimesii
S. liquefaciens
S. marcescens
S. myotis[4]
S. nematodiphila
S. odorifera
S. plymuthica
S. proteamaculans
S. quinivorans
S. rubidaea
S. symbiotica
S. ureilytica[4]
S. vespertilionis[4]

Serratia is a genus of Gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria of the family Enterobacteriaceae. They are typically 1–5 μm in length and do not produce spores.[5] The most common and pathogenic of the species in the genus, S. marcescens, is normally the only pathogen and usually causes nosocomial infections. However, rare strains of S. plymuthica, S. liquefaciens, S. rubidaea, and S. odoriferae have caused diseases through infection.[6] S. marcescens is typically found in showers, toilet bowls, and around wetted tiles. Some members of this genus produce characteristic red pigment, prodigiosin, and can be distinguished from other members of the family Enterobacteriaceae by their unique production of three enzymes: DNase (nucA), lipase, and gelatinase (serralysin).[7]

Infection of humans[edit]

The bacterium is an opportunistic human pathogen, capitalizing on its ability to form tight-knit surface communities called biofilms wherever it can.[8] S. marcescens is thought to be transmitted through hand-to-hand transmission by hospital personnel.[8] In the hospital, Serratia species tend to colonize the respiratory and urinary tracts, rather than the gastrointestinal tract, in adults. Serratia infection is responsible for about 2% of nosocomial infections of the bloodstream, lower respiratory tract, urinary tract, surgical wounds, and skin and soft tissues in adult patients. Outbreaks of S. marcescens meningitis, wound infections, and arthritis have occurred in pediatric wards.[9]

Cases of Serratia arthritis have been reported in outpatients receiving intra-articular injections.[citation needed]

Associated Immunodeficiencies and Diseases[edit]

Isolation and identification[edit]

Species of Serratia have been isolated in a variety of environments, including soil, water, plants, animals and even air.[10] Several methods can be used to study the epidemiology of S. marcescens. Usual enrichment strategies involve the use of media containing antibiotic and antifungal substances. A caprylate-thallous media seems to be highly preferred for the selective growth of genus Serratia, as it can use caprylic acid as a carbon source.[11]

Serological typing and different types of polymerase chain reaction can be used to identify the bacteria. Biotyping, bacteriocin typing, phage typing, plasmid analysis, and ribotyping can also be used[12] S. marcescens appears red on trypticase soy agar slants when grown at around 25 °C.[13] S. marcescens and S. liquefaciens can be easily confused in the lab when using the analytical profile index system. They can both oxidise arabinose, but only S. liquefaciens can ferment arabinose in peptone water.[12]


S. marcescens was first documented as a red-coloured putrefaction of polenta[14] by Bartolomeo Bizio in Padua. The bacterium was later named in honour of Italian physicist Serafino Serrati and marcescens because of the pigment's rapid discolouration and decay.[14]:538


  1. ^ Images courtesy of CDC Accessed 7 July 2011.
  2. ^ BIZIO (B.): Lettera di Bartolomeo Bizio al chiarissimo canonico Angelo Bellani sopra il fenomeno della polenta porporina. Biblioteca Italiana o sia Giornale di Letteratura, Scienze e Arti (Anno VIII), 1823, 30, 275-295. link.
  3. ^ "Serratia". In: List of Prokaryotic Names with Standing in Nomenclature (LPSN). Created by J.P. Euzéby in 1997. Curated by A.C. Parte since 2013. Available on: Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e LPSN
  5. ^ 1949-, Madigan, Michael T. (2 January 2017). Brock biology of microorganisms. Bender, Kelly S., 1977-, Buckley, Daniel H. (Daniel Hezekiah),, Sattley, W. Matthew, 1975-, Stahl, David Allan, 1949- (Fifteenth ed.). NY, NY. ISBN 9780134261928. OCLC 958205447.
  6. ^ Basilio J. Anía, M.D. "Serratia". eMedicine. Retrieved 14 March 2007.
  7. ^ "Serratia". University of Texas at Houston Medical School. Archived from the original on 28 January 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2007.
  8. ^ a b Basilio J Anía (21 October 2015). "Serratia". Medscape. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ Health Canada. MSDS - Infectious Substances. Serratia. ( Accessed 7 July 2011.
  10. ^ Kämpfer, Peter; Glaeser, Stefanie P. (2016). "Serratia aquatilis sp. nov., isolated from drinking water systems". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 66 (1): 407–413. doi:10.1099/ijsem.0.000731. PMID 26537514.
  11. ^ Starr, M. P.; Grimont, P. A.; Grimont, F.; Starr, P. B. (September 1976). "Caprylate-thallous agar medium for selectively isolating Serratia and its utility in the clinical laboratory". Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 4 (3): 270–276. ISSN 0095-1137. PMC 274449. PMID 972193.
  12. ^ a b Hejazi, A; Falkiner, F (November 1997). "Serratia marcescens". J. Med. Microbiol. 46 (11): 903–912. doi:10.1099/00222615-46-11-903. PMID 9368530.
  13. ^ .Leboffe, Michael J., and Burton E. Pierce. "Section 3: Bacterial Growth." A Photographic Atlas for the Microbiology Laboratory. 4th ed. Englewood, CO: Morton Pub., 2011. 26. Print.
  14. ^ a b Merlino, CP (November 1924). "Bartolomeo Bizio's Letter to the most Eminent Priest, Angelo Bellani, Concerning the Phenomenon of the Red Colored Polenta". Journal of Bacteriology. 9 (6): 527–543. PMC 379088. PMID 16559067.