Novel Clostridium Species, from the Swine Intestinal Tract
The swine intestinal tract is one of the most densely populated microbial ecosystems identified. The microbiota greatly impact host physiology, metabolism, and immunity. However a large portion of intestinal microorganisms remain unidentified. Characterization of unclassified members fills an important gap in understanding the microbiota composition and function. To address this need, we isolated and characterized a novel bacterium (strain 68-1-5) from the swine intestinal tract on mucusbased media. This gram-positive bacterium belongs to the genus Clostridium, which includes 150 characterized species. In the intestinal compartment, these organisms promote intestinal health by stimulating the immune system and producing compounds beneficial to the host. Based on DNA sequence divergence, and many physiological characteristics dissimilar to its closest relative, we propose this isolate is a novel species within the genus. This bacterium exhibited a high tolerance for alkaline and saline conditions. Notably, while most relatives are spore producers, spore formation was not detected in 68-1-5. Additionally, 68-1-5 demonstrated resistance to several antibiotics commonly used in agriculture, reflecting long-term exposure in livestock production. Our future goals include naming this organism and publishing our findings to improve our understanding of the swine intestinal microbiota and essential interactions with the host.