Comparison of three species of Elizabethkingia genus by whole-genome sequence analysis

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2021 Apr 8;368(5):fnab018. doi: 10.1093/femsle/fnab018.


Elizabethkingia are found to cause severe neonatal meningitis, nosocomial pneumonia, endocarditis and bacteremia. However, there are few studies on Elizabethkingia genus by comparative genomic analysis. In this study, three species of Elizabethkingia were found: E. meningoseptica, E. anophelis and E. miricola. Resistance genes and associated proteins of seven classes of antibiotics including beta-lactams, aminoglycosides, macrolides, tetracyclines, quinolones, sulfonamides and glycopeptides, as well as multidrug resistance efflux pumps were identified from 20 clinical isolates of Elizabethkingia by whole-genome sequence. Genotype and phenotype displayed a good consistency in beta-lactams, aminoglycosides and glycopeptides, while contradictions exhibited in tetracyclines, quinolones and sulfonamides. Virulence factors and associated genes such as hsp60 (htpB), exopolysaccharide (EPS) (galE/pgi), Mg2+ transport (mgtB/mgtE) and catalase (katA/katG) existed in all clinical and reference strains. The functional analysis of the clusters of orthologous groups indicated that 'metabolism' occupied the largest part in core genome, 'information storage and processing' was the largest group in both accessory genome and unique genome. Abundant mobile elements were identified in E. meningoseptica and E. anophelis. The most significant finding in our study was that a single clone of E. anophelis had been circulating within diversities of departments in a clinical setting for nearly 18 months.

Keywords: Elizabethkingia genus; clinical characteristics; clusters of orthologous groups; drug resistance; virulence factors; whole-genome sequence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Chryseobacterium / drug effects
  • Chryseobacterium / genetics*
  • Chryseobacterium / isolation & purification
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Female
  • Flavobacteriaceae / drug effects
  • Flavobacteriaceae / genetics*
  • Flavobacteriaceae / isolation & purification
  • Flavobacteriaceae Infections / diagnosis
  • Flavobacteriaceae Infections / microbiology
  • Flavobacteriaceae Infections / pathology*
  • Genome, Bacterial / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Virulence Factors / genetics
  • Whole Genome Sequencing


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Virulence Factors

Supplementary concepts

  • Elizabethkingia anophelis
  • Elizabethkingia miricola