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NSF International Scientists Announce Discovery of New Bacterium, Same Family as E. coli and Klebsiella Pneumonia
Date:11/13/2013

Ann Arbor, MI (PRWEB) November 13, 2013

Scientists at NSF International’s Applied Research Center announced today that they have discovered a new bacterium, Klebsiella michiganensis (K. michiganensis). NSF International is a global public health and safety organization headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Researchers from the NSF Applied Research Center, a division of NSF that focuses exclusively on research and development, found that the new coliform bacterium is part of the same family as E. coli, a species typically found in human intestines and fecal matter. A number of bacteria of the genus Klebsiella are pathogenic and drug resistant, including Klebsiella pneumonia, which can cause pneumonia and respiratory tract and urinary tract infections.

K. michiganensis has a capsule structure with a slimy surface that helps it attach to mucus membranes and evade immune system responses, which may lead to infection because the bacterium is difficult to break down. Sticky bacteria like K. michiganensis can attract other bacteria to join together in biofilm communities which are a common cause of persistent infections. These biofilms can form on surfaces such as human and animal tissues, metal and plastic and are more resistant to disinfection and removal than single bacteria. This helps explain how the NSF Applied Research Center’s scientists discovered the new bacterium as part of a study on microbial hot spots in residential homes for the NSF 2011 Household Germ Study. This particular organism was isolated from a toothbrush holder in a bathroom.

“Finding this bacterium in a toothbrush hold
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