f Saccharopolyspora rectivirgula from Quebec dairy barns: application of simplified criteria for the identification of an agent responsible for farmer's lung disease
- Authors: CAROLINE DUCHAINE, ANNE MÉRIAUX, GILLES BROCHU, KATHRYN BERNARD, YVON CORMIER1
- 1Corresponding author: Dr Y. Cormier (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
- First Published Online: 01 February 1999, Journal of Medical Microbiology 48: 173-180, doi: 10.1099/00222615-48-2-173
- Subject: Mycology
- Issue Published:
Saccharopolyspora rectivirgula (Micropolyspora faeni) is one of the major agents responsible for farmer's lung disease, a form of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. It is frequently isolated from the air of contaminated barns. The identification of this actinomycete is difficult because most of its phenotypic characteristics are variable and classical tests are not easy to perform on actinomycetes. Fatty acid analysis is very useful for the identification of these strains, but is not available except in some research or reference laboratories. Morphological (microscopic and macroscopic observations), physiological and biochemical tests (growth properties; macromolecules degraded; citrate utilisation and acid production from carbohydrates; resistance to antibiotics, lysozyme and heat), cell wall and fatty acid analyses and IgG analyses with serum from patients with farmer's lung were performed on 12 environmental isolates presumed to be S. rectivirgula and two control strains of S. rectivirgula. From this, a simple and rapid scheme for the identification of this actinomycete is proposed: optimal growth temperature (55°C); colony appearance based on morphology (filamentous) and colour (beige to orange-brown); microscopic morphology (chains of spores on both aerial and substrate mycelium); growth on NaCl 10%; cell-wall analysis (type IV); and the verification of antibody response with serum from a patient with farmer's lung. This last criterion is important to confirm the immunogenicity of the strains identified as S. rectivirgula. This scheme provides an accurate and efficient way of identifying S. rectivirgula strains and evaluating exposure to this bacterium. The study shows the limited value and the lack of reproducibility of some classical biochemical tests.
© 1999 The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland | Published by the Microbiology Society
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