Budvicia aquatica

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A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Budvicia aquatica


Higher order taxa

Domain: Bacteria. Kingdom: Bacteria. Phylum: Proteobacteria. Class: Gammaproteobacteria. Order: Enterbacteriales. Family: Enterobacteriaceae. Genus: Budvicia. Species: Budvicia aquatica.


Budvicia aquatica

Description and significance

B. aquatica can be found in fresh water sources that include brooks, rivers and wells. It was first isolated in fresh water samples from Czechoslovakia in 1983. It is a Gram-negative bacterium with cells that are rod-shaped and can be non-motile, but are also able to develop peritrichous flagella when grown at 22°C (1). They do not form spores, and are non-encapsulated. Temperature sensitive phage tail-like (high-molecular-weight) bacteriocins have been formed by B. aquatica in vitro (2). B. aquatica has been reported as a surface water contaminant not associated with human feces or sewage (1). It is generally not a disease-causing agent, but one case study has suggested that it may be linked to illness through infection in immunosuppressed persons (3).

Genome structure

Genome sequencing has been completed on B. aquatica strain DSM 5075. The genome contains 5,668,731 base pairs, 45.75% of which are G+C base pairs and 84.19% that are DNA coding. There are 5129 genes; 5033 are protein-coding genes and 96 code for RNA (4).

Cell and colony structure

B. aquatica is a mesophilic Gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium. Like other gram-negative bacteria, its cell envelope includes a thin peptidoglycan layer surrounded by a periplasmic space and an outer membrane. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) properties and structure have been isolated, and it has been determined that the LPS shows low toxicity and apyrogenicity. The structure of the O-specific polysaccharide (OPS) was surprising for a gram-negative bacterium, and more closely resembled the structure of glycerol teichoic acids found in gram-positive bacteria (5). When the cell is grown at 22°C, it can produce peritrichous flagella and is motile. At temperatures above 37°C, its motility is decreased (1). It does not produce any extracellular enzymes, but several strains have produced phage tail-like bacteriocins (2). Cells are able to grow on nutrient agar at temperatures between 4 and 37°C. Small, translucent colonies with smooth edges are produced. Colony size at 30°C is 0.5 mm diameter after 24 hours, and 1.5 mm after 48 hours. Colony size at 37°C is 0.1 mm in diameter after 24-48 hours. Cells do not colonize at 42°C (1).


B. aquatica is a hydrogen sulfide producing facultative anaerobe. It ferments glucose and reduces nitrate. Cells can hydrolyze urea and produce the catalase enzyme. It requires nicotinic acid in its environment for cell growth (1).


B. aquatica is a fresh-water dwelling bacteria that can be found in drinking water, as well as rivers, streams and swimming pools. Samples have also been isolated from small mammals, including the digestive tract of the common shrew (1). It is considered a surface water contaminant that is not associated with feces or sewage (3).


B. aquatica had not been identified as disease-causing bacteria in humans, other animals or plants. However, a case study of sepsis in an immunosuppressed patient exposed to B. aquatica in flood water from Hurricane Katrina suggests that the bacteria may cause infection in humans. The patient had been cleaning her house post-flood and developed symptoms that included fever, chills, mild hypoxia and painful urination. Her urine and blood cultures contained a Gram-negative rod that was identified as B. aquatica (3). In the lab, the bacteria were sensitive to several antibiotic agents, and the patient was successfully treated with intravenous levofloxican, followed by a two week dose of oral ciprofloxican (3).


(1) Bouvet, O. Grimont, P. Richard, C. Aldova, E. Hausner, O. and Gabrhelova, M. Budvicia aquatic gen. nov., sp. nov.: a Hydrogen Sulfide-Producing Member of the Enterobacteriaceae. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology. (1985) Vol. 35, No. 1. 60-64.

(2) Smarda, J. and Benada, O. Phage Tail-Like (High-Molecular-Weight) Bacteriocins of Budvicia aquatica and Pragia fontium (Enterobacteriaceae). Applied and Environmental Microbiology. (2005) Vol. 71, No. 12. 8970-8973.

(3) Corbin, A. Delatte, C. Besson, S. Guidry, A. Hoffmann, A. Monier, P. and Nathaniel, R. Budvicia aquatica sepsis in an immunocompromised patient following exposure to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Medical Microbiology. (2007) Vol. 56. 1124-1125. DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.47139-0

(4) http://img.jgi.doe.gov/cgi-bin/w/main.cgi?section=TaxonDetail&page=taxonDetail&taxon_oid=2513237113#

(5) Zdorovenko, E. Varbanets, L. Brovarskaya, O. Valueva, O. Shashkov, A. Yu, A. Lipopolysaccharide of Budvicia aquatica 97U124: Immunochemical Properties and Structure. Microbiology. (2011) Vol. 80, No. 3. 372-377.

Edited by Kelly McNamee of Dr. Lisa R. Moore, University of Southern Maine, Department of Biological Sciences, http://www.usm.maine.edu/bio