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Peptococcus niger - Pathogen Safety Data Sheet

SECTION I - INFECTIOUS AGENT

NAME: Peptococcus niger

SYNONYM OR CROSS REFERENCE: N/A

CHARACTERISTICS: Peptococcus niger is a gram-positive, non-motile, obligatory anaerobic cocci that is a constituent of the normal human intestinal mucous membranes and umbilicus flora Footnote 1-5. The bacterial cells are 0.3 – 1.3 μm in diameter, and can exist singly, in pairs, tetrads, or in irregular clusters Footnote 6. It can be cultured on enriched blood agar, where it forms smooth, black, irregular colonies (turns grey when exposed to air) that are 1 mm in diameter after 5 days of incubation Footnote 4Footnote 6Footnote 7. The bacterium produces H2S, NH3, and H2, but cannot liquefy gelatine, serum, digest milk, nor ferment carbohydrates Footnote 6. Based on the similarities and relatedness of the G+C content of the Peptococcus and Peptostreptococcus DNA, all species previously classified under the Peptococcus genus has been transferred to the Peptostreptococcus genus, with the exception of Peptococcus niger Footnote 2Footnote 7.

SECTION II - HAZARD IDENTIFICATION

PATHOGENICITY/TOXICITY: The bacteria have been associated with ovine foot rot, and rarely retrieved from animal infections Footnote 8. The very slow growth rate exhibited by P. niger and its lack of distinctive biochemical features may be responsible for its low pathogenicity Footnote 4, as it is seldom isolated from clinical specimens and not commonly cultured from human pathological specimens Footnote 1Footnote 2. A study reported that cultured strains from a rectal abscess, a pilonidal cyst, and a vaginal area swab found only one strain of P. niger amongst 278 other gram-positive cocci examined Footnote 4.

EPIDEMIOLOGY: Worldwide – P. niger is part of the normal human umbilical and intestinal flora Footnote 4.

HOST RANGE: Although uncommon, P. niger has been isolated from the normal flora of the human umbilicus Footnote 4, and in rare cases have been isolated from ovine foot rot disease of hooved animals Footnote 8.

INFECTIOUS DOSE: It is unknown for humans and other animals. However, the infectious dose is likely to be extremely high as P. niger is rarely isolated from human pathogenic specimens Footnote 4.

MODE OF TRANSMISSION: No disease has been specifically linked to P. niger, and thus the route of transmission of the bacteria is not currently known.

INCUBATION PERIOD: Unknown

COMMUNICABILITY: Not known to be communicable between humans.

SECTION III - DISSEMINATION

RESERVOIR: Humans and hooved animals Footnote 4Footnote 8.

ZOONOSIS: None

VECTORS: None

SECTION IV - STABILITY AND VIABILITY

DRUG SUSCEPTIBILITY: Studies have shown that strains are susceptible to penicillin, ampicillin, azlocillin, piperacillin, mexlocillin, metronidazole, cefuroxime, cefoperazone, cefotaxime, imipenem, erythromycin, clindamycin, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline Footnote 4Footnote 9.

DRUG RESISTANCE: Resistance to metronidazole and lincomycin have been reported Footnote 4.

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Most bacteria are susceptible to 1% sodium hypochlorite, 2% glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde, and 70% ethyl or isopropyl alcohol 10.

PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Inactivated by moist heat (121°C for 15 – 30mins) and dry heat (160 - 170°C for 1-2 hours) Footnote 11.

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Unknown, but because of its slow rate of growth on enriched blood agar Footnote 1Footnote 4, it is unlikely that the bacteria can survive under harsh conditions outside the host or in laboratory effluent.

SECTION V - FIRST AID / MEDICAL

SURVEILLANCE: Monitor for symptoms.

FIRST AID/TREATMENT: Administer proper drug treatment.

IMMUNIZATION: None available.

PROPHYLAXIS: None available.

SECTION VI - LABORATORY HAZARDS

LABORATORY-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS: None reported to date.

SOURCES/SPECIMENS: Human intestinal or umbilical tissue, and mucous membranes. P. niger H4 strain can be isolated from the human gastrointestinal tract, as well as from the hooves of animals afflicted with ovine foot rot Footnote 2Footnote 3Footnote 8Footnote 12.

PRIMARY HAZARDS: Handling of infected human intestinal or umbilical tissue, coming into contact with mucous membranes or infected animals hooves that carry the bacteria may be a hazard Footnote 2Footnote 3Footnote 8.

SPECIAL HAZARDS: None

SECTION VII - EXPOSURE CONTROLS / PERSONAL PROTECTION

RISK GROUP CLASSIFICATION: Risk Group 1

CONTAINMENT REQUIREMENTS: Containment Level 1 facilities, equipment, and operational practices for work involving infectious or potentially infectious material Footnote 13.

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Properly fastened protective laboratory clothing. Gloves when direct skin contact with infected materials or animals is unavoidable Footnote 14.

OTHER PRECAUTIONS: None

SECTION VIII - HANDLING AND STORAGE

SPILLS: Allow aerosols to settle and, wearing protective clothing, gently cover spill with paper towels and apply an appropriate disinfectant, starting at the perimeter and working towards the centre. Allow sufficient contact time before clean up.

DISPOSAL: Decontaminate all wastes that contain or have come in contact with the infectious organism before disposing by autoclave, chemical disinfection, gamma irradiation, or incineration Footnote 13.

STORAGE: The infectious agent should be stored in leak-proof containers that are appropriately labelled.         

SECTION IX - REGULATORY AND OTHER INFORMATION

REGULATORY INFORMATION: The import, transport, and use of pathogens in Canada is regulated under many regulatory bodies, including the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Environment Canada, and Transport Canada. Users are responsible for ensuring they are compliant with all relevant acts, regulations, guidelines, and standards.

UPDATED: November 2011

PREPARED BY: Pathogen Regulation Directorate, Public Health Agency of Canada

Although the information, opinions and recommendations contained in this Pathogen Data Sheet are compiled from sources believed to be reliable, we accept no responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability or for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information. Newly discovered hazards are frequent and this information may not be completely up to date.

Copyright © Public Health Agency of Canada, 2011 Canada

REFERENCES

Footnote 1
Murdoch, D. A., & Magee, J. T. (1995). A numerical taxonomic study of the gram-positive anaerobic cocci. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 43(2), 148-155.
Footnote 2
Summanen, P. (1993). Recent taxonomic changes for anaerobic gram-positive and selected gram-negative organisms. Clinical Infectious Diseases : An Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, 16 Suppl 4, S168-74.
Footnote 3
de la Maza, L. M., Pezzlo, M. T., Shigei, J. T., & Peterson, E. M. (2004). Color Atlas of Medical Bacteriology. Washington, DC, USA: American Society of Microbiology.
Footnote 4
Murdoch, D. A. (1998). Gram-positive anaerobic cocci. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 11(1), 81-120.
Footnote 5
Van Eldere, J., Parmentier, G., Asselberghs, S., & Eyssen, H. (1991). Partial characterization of the steroidsulfatases in Peptococcus niger H4. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 57(1), 69-76.
Footnote 6
Wilkins, T. D., Moore, W. E. C., West, S. E. H., & Holdeman, L. V. (1975). Peptococcus niger (Hall) Kluyver and van Niel 1936: Emendation of Description and Designation of Neotype Strain. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology, 25(1), 47-49.
Footnote 7
Song, Y., Finegold, S.M. (2007). Peptostreptococcus, Finegoldia, Anaerococcus, Peptoniphilus, Veillonella, and Other Anaerobic Cocci. In Murray, P.R., Baron, E.J., Jorgensen, J.H., Landry, ML., Pfaller, M.A. (Ed.), Manual of Clinical Microbiology (9th ed., pp. 862-869). Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology.
Footnote 8
Carter, G. R., & Wise, D. J. (Eds.). (2004). Essentials of Veterinary Bacteriology and Mycology (6th ed.). Iowa, USA: Iowa State Press.
Footnote 9
Piriz, S., Cuenca, R., Valle, J., & Vadillo, S. (1992). Susceptibilities of anaerobic bacteria isolated from animals with ovine foot rot to 28 antimicrobial agents. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 36(1), 198-201.
Footnote 10
Laboratory Biosafety Manual (2004). (Third Edition ed.). Geneva: World Health Organization.
Footnote 11
Pflug, I. J., Holcomb, R. G., & Gomez, M. M. (2001). Principles of the thermal destruction of microorganisms. In S. S. Block (Ed.), Disinfection, Sterilization, and Preservation (5th ed., pp. 79-129). Philadelphia, PA: Lipincott Williams and Wilkins.
Footnote 12
Van Eldere, J. R., De Pauw, G., & Eyssen, H. J. (1987). Steroid sulfatase activity in a Peptococcus niger strain from the human intestinal microflora. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 53(7), 1655-1660.
Footnote 13
Biosafety in the Laboratory - Prudent Practices for Handling and Disposal of Infectious Materials (1989). . Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
Footnote 14
Human Pathogens and Toxins Act. S.C. 2009, c. 24. Government of Canada, Second Session, Fortieth Parliament, 57-58 Elizabeth II, 2009, (2009).