Bilophila wadsworthia, gen. nov. and sp. nov., a unique gram-negative anaerobic rod recovered from appendicitis specimens and human faeces

J Gen Microbiol. 1989 Dec;135(12):3405-11. doi: 10.1099/00221287-135-12-3405.


Strongly catalase-positive Gram-negative anaerobic rods were isolated from approximately half of all intra-abdominal specimens received from patients with gangrenous and perforated appendicitis, and subsequently also from normal faecal specimens. The organism was originally detected on Bacteroides-bile-aesculin (BBE) agar, and grew slowly on non-selective anaerobic media containing blood. It was stimulated by bile and differed from other known genera by being urease- and catalase-positive, and by reducing nitrate. It did not reduce sulphate. Other anaerobic Gram-negative rods showed no homology by DNA dot-blot hybridization. The thermal melting profile of chromosomal DNA showed 39-40 mol% G + C. The whole-cell fatty acid methyl ester profile included cyclic and branched long-chain acids, and differed from those of all other anaerobes that have been tested. beta-Lactamase was not detected. The name Bilophila wadsworthia gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed for this organism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Appendicitis / microbiology*
  • Bile
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Culture Media
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Gangrene
  • Gram-Negative Anaerobic Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Perforation / microbiology
  • Nitrates / metabolism
  • Rupture, Spontaneous
  • Urease / metabolism


  • Culture Media
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Fatty Acids
  • Nitrates
  • Catalase
  • Urease