Campylobacter portucalensis sp. nov., a new species of Campylobacter isolated from the preputial mucosa of bulls

PLoS One. 2020 Jan 10;15(1):e0227500. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227500. eCollection 2020.


A new species of the Campylobacter genus is described, isolated from the preputial mucosa of bulls (Bos taurus). The five isolates obtained exhibit characteristics of Campylobacter, being Gram-negative non-motile straight rods, oxidase positive, catalase negative and microaerophilic. Phenotypic characteristics and nucleotide sequence analysis of 16S rRNA and hsp60 genes demonstrated that these isolates belong to a novel species within the genus Campylobacter. Based on hsp60 gene phylogenetic analysis, the most related species are C. ureolyticus, C. blaseri and C. corcagiensis. The whole genome sequence analysis of isolate FMV-PI01 revealed that the average nucleotide identity with other Campylobacter species was less than 75%, which is far below the cut-off for isolates of the same species. However, whole genome sequence analysis identified coding sequences highly homologous with other Campylobacter spp. These included several virulence factor coding genes related with host cell adhesion and invasion, transporters involved in resistance to antimicrobials, and a type IV secretion system (T4SS), containing virB2-virB11/virD4 genes, highly homologous to the C. fetus subsp. venerealis. The genomic G+C content of isolate FMV-PI01 was 28.3%, which is one of the lowest values reported for species of the genus Campylobacter. For this species the name Campylobacter portucalensis sp. nov. is proposed, with FMV-PI01 (= LMG 31504, = CCUG 73856) as the type strain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / classification
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Campylobacter / classification
  • Campylobacter / genetics*
  • Campylobacter / isolation & purification
  • Campylobacter / metabolism
  • Cattle
  • Chaperonin 60 / classification
  • Chaperonin 60 / genetics
  • Chaperonin 60 / metabolism
  • Epithelium / microbiology
  • Genotype
  • Male
  • Penis / microbiology*
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / chemistry
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / classification
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / metabolism
  • Virulence Factors / genetics
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism
  • Whole Genome Sequencing


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Chaperonin 60
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Virulence Factors

Grants and funding

This study was supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT -, under the 02/SAICT/2017, project no. 030145, co-funded by Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional (FEDER). In addition, the study was funded by Centro de Investigação Interdisciplinar em Sanidade Animal ( (Project UID/CVT/00276/2019, funded by FCT). Marta Silva and Gonçalo Pereira are PhD students supported by grants from FCT, SFRH/BD/125657/2016 and SFRH/BD/130923/2017, respectively. Andrew Hemphill is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation grant No. 310030_184662. Elisabete Silva is funded by FCT (DL 57/2016/CP1438/CT0001). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.