PloS one

Identification of a novel Afipia species isolated from an Indian flying fox.

PMID 25874801


An old world fruit bat Pteropus giganteus, held in captivity and suffering from necrosis of its wing digits, failed to respond to antibiotic therapy and succumbed to the infection. Samples submitted to the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease were tested for viral infection. Vero E6 cells exhibited minor but unique cytopathic effects on second blind passage, and full CPE by passage four. Utilizing an unbiased random amplification technique from cell culture supernatant, we identified a bacterium belonging to the Bradyrhizobiaceae. Purification of cell culture supernatant on TY media revealed a slow growing bacterial isolate. In this study using electron microscopy, 16S rRNA gene analysis and whole genome sequencing, we identify a novel bacterial species associated with the site of infection belonging to the genus Afipia. This genus of bacteria is very diverse, with only a limited number of species characterized. Afipia felis, previously described as the etiological agent to cause cat scratch disease, and Afipia septicemium, most recently shown to cause disease in humans, highlight the potential for members of this genus to form a branch of opportunistic pathogens within the Bradyrhizobiaceae. Increased utilization of next generation sequencing and genomics will aid in classifying additional members of this intriguing bacterial genera.