Academics and Research

Klebsiella huaxiensis-a new species of Klebsiella, discovered by a team of West China Hospital of SCU led by Prof. Zong Zhiyong

Recently, a new Klebsiella species has been discovered by a pathogenic microorganisms research team at the West China Hospital of Sichuan University during clinical practices, which is led by Zong Zhiyong, a professor of the Infectious Disease Center and the head of the Infection Control Department of the hospital. Named after the place of discovery--the West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Klebsiella huaxiensis has been accepted for publication by the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, which is an international authoritative journal of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes. “The acceptance and publication of the Klebsiella huaxiensis means that its discovery and naming has been recognized, and this is the first species of bacterium named by the West China Hospital of Sichuan University for the past decades,” said Zong.

Klebsiella is a genus of the Enterobacteriaceae, and also one of the most common pathogenic bacteria in clinical practices. Practically, it is a complex of many species of closely related bacteria. To identify how many kinds of bacteria it includes, we need to adopt the widely accepted methods including molecular biology and genomics. “Klebsiella huaxiensis is just an individual species that we discovered from the group we knew before,” said Zong. And he believed that the identification of this species is critical to disease diagnosis and treatment, because pathogenicity and drug resistances may vary among different bacterial species. Therefore, more targeted research may bring about more accurate clinical treatment.              

Zong told us that through almost one year's effort, the suspected existence of a new species of bacterium was finally successfully authenticated by a large number of experiments including biochemical reactions, followed by delivery of the strain discovered to culture collection, paper preparation, approval and recognition. This is benefited from the concerted efforts and joint contribution from the Infectious Disease Center, Research Center for Pathogenic Microorganisms, Infection Control Department, as well as the Lab of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine at the hospital, said Zong.