While trying to treat a hospitalized patient, English doctors and scientists made a surprising discovery: the bacteria which caused his infection had never been identified.
Her name is “Variovorax durovernensis” and has only just been discovered. This bacteria, never identified until now, was found on an English patient, following a sort of scientific investigation reported in the journal MedicalXpress.
New bacteria discovered in patient’s aorta
The story begins when a 55-year-old Englishman is hospitalized because of an infection linked to a heart problem. But during a blood test, doctors discovered that two bacteria and not one were the cause of his health problem.
The new nocardia, which causes nocardiosis, an infectious disease, and a new species of variovorax, nestled in the patient’s aorta, never seen before. Without delay, scientists studied this new arrival and discovered that in this specific case, the bacteria would indeed be the cause of the heart infection.
The infection occurred among sheep
How did this bacteria sneak into the patient? The press release explains that he is a shepherd. The most obvious contamination hypothesis would be linked to its environment, according to Lara Payne, author of the study. “The patient was infected during lambing season or while feeding sheep. antiparasitic drugs (…) without gloves”.
And even though the bacteria was unknown until now, the patient was able to be treated effectively, with an adjusted treatment. “Once we know the cause of the infection, we can modify antibiotics accordingly, meaning patients benefit from personalized, targeted treatment.”explains Adela Alcolea-Medina, co-author of the study.
The patient was able to choose the scientific name
Why Variovorax “durovernensis”? The name was found by the patient himself: because it was a first, the researchers left it to him to choose the name of this new bacteria. Originally from Canterbury, an English city, he therefore opted for the Latin name of this city, durovernensis.