Neisseria elongata subsp. nitroreducens subsp. nov., formerly CDC group M-6, a gram-negative bacterium associated with endocarditis

J Clin Microbiol. 1990 Dec;28(12):2591-6. doi: 10.1128/jcm.28.12.2591-2596.1990.


CDC group M-6 is the vernacular name given to a gram-negative, oxidase-positive, aerobic, nonmotile, rod-shaped bacterium. This organism is biochemically similar to Kingella denitrificans and displays a cellular fatty acid profile consistent with CDC groups M-5 and EF-4 and with Neisseria elongata. Of the 95 M-6 strains referred to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for identification, 32 (64%) of the first 50 were from the throat or sputum and only 3 (6%) were from blood; only 5 (11%) of the next 45 isolates were from the upper respiratory tract and 23 (51%) were from blood, with many of these (15 or 65%) being associated with endocarditis. The major characteristics of CDC group M-6 include reduction of nitrate and nitrite with no gas formation; positive reaction for oxidase; negative reactions for catalase, urease, indole, and motility; and no acid production from carbohydrates. Guanine-plus-cytosine content determined spectrophotometrically by thermal denaturation was 55 to 58 mol % for six M-6 strains tested: 56 mol % for the N. elongata subsp. elongata type strain and for the N. elongata subsp. glycolytica type strain. By the hydroxyapatite method, DNAs from 24 M-6 strains showed an average of 78% relatedness to M-6 reference strain B1019 in reactions at 60 degrees C and 73% relatedness in reactions at 75 degrees C. M-6 strain B1019 was 79% related to the N. elongata type strain at 60 degrees C and 71% related at 75 degrees C; it was 75% related to the type strain N. elongata subsp. glycolytica at 60 degrees C and was 66% related at 75 degrees C. DNAs from CDC group EF-4, K. denitrificans, and CDC group M-5 were all less than 14% related to CDC group M-6 at 75 degrees C. The DNA relatedness data showed conclusively that all the M-6 strains belong in the species N. elongata. M-6 is different from N. elongata subsp. elongata in that M-6 reduces nitrate and sometimes weakly acidifies D-glucose, and it is different from N. elongata subsp. glycolytica in that it reduces nitrate and is negative for glucose and catalase. Because of the apparent clinical significance of M-6 compared with the clinical significance of N. elongata subsp. elongata and N. elongata subsp. glycolytica and the ease in distinguishing it biochemically, we propose M-6 as a third subspecies of N.elongata, N. elongata subsp. nitroreducens subsp. nov.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • DNA / genetics
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Neisseria / classification*
  • Neisseria / genetics
  • Neisseria / pathogenicity
  • Sepsis / etiology
  • Species Specificity


  • DNA