Proposal to reclassify Propionibacterium acnes type I as Propionibacterium acnes subsp. acnes subsp. nov. and Propionibacterium acnes type II as Propionibacterium acnes subsp. defendens subsp. nov

Andrew McDowell, Emma Barnard, Jared Liu, Huiying Li, Sheila Patrick

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Abstract

Recently, it has been proposed that strains of Propionibacterium acnes from the type III genetic division should be classified as P. acnessubsp. elongatum subsp. nov., with strains from the type I and II divisions collectively classified as P. acnessubsp. acnes subsp. nov. Under such a taxonomic re-appraisal, we believe that types I and II should also have their own separate rank of subspecies. In support of this, we describe a polyphasic taxonomic study based on the analysis of publicly available multilocus and whole-genome sequence datasets, alongside a systematic review of previously published phylogenetic, genomic, phenotypic and clinical data. Strains of types I and II form highly distinct clades on the basis of multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) and whole-genome phylogenetic reconstructions. In silico or digital DNA-DNA similarity values also fall within the 70-80 % boundary recommended for bacterial subspecies. Furthermore, we see important differences in genome content, including the presence of an active CRISPR/Cas system in type II strains, but not type I, and evidence for increasing linkage equilibrium within the separate divisions. Key biochemical differences include positive test results for β-haemolytic, neuraminidase and sorbitol fermentation activities with type I strains, but not type II. We now propose that type I strains should be classified as P. acnessubsp. acnes subsp. nov., and type II as P. acnessubsp. defendens subsp. nov. The type strain of P. acnessubsp. acnes subsp. nov. is NCTC 737T (=ATCC 6919T=JCM 6425T=DSM 1897T=CCUG 1794T), while the type strain of P. acnessubsp. defendens subsp. nov. is ATCC 11828 (=JCM 6473=CCUG 6369).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5358-5365
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Volume66
Issue number12
Early online date01 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Journal Article

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