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16S rRNA RefSeq: V15.23    Genomic RefSeq: V10.1
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Abiotrophia defectiva (HMT-389)
Taxon Description:
Abiotrophia defectiva was originally named Streptococcus defectivus [6]. Fastidious streptococci that grew as satellite colonies around other microorganisms or in complex media enriched with cysteine were originally described as nutritionally variant streptococci (NVS) by Frenkel and Hirsch [7]. Kawamura et al. recognized that S. defectivus and other NVS were not members of the genus Streptococcus and created the genus Abiotrophia [1]

Disease Associations:
In a study of microbial risk indicators of early childhood caries Abiotrophia defectiva was significantly more abundant in caries free vs caries active subjects [4]. The organism has also been associated with bacterial endocarditis [25]

Prevalence and Source:
Abiotrophia defectiva is a common member of the human oral cavity pharynx intestine and urogenital tracts. In a study examining the normal microflora of the oral cavity it was recovered from buccal hard palate tooth surface and subgingival sites [3].
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Class: Bacilli
Order: Lactobacillales
Genus: Abiotrophia
Species:Abiotrophia defectiva
Status: Named - Cultured
Type/Reference Strain: ATCC 49176
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Former Names or Synonyms:
Phylum: Firmicutes
Streptococcus defectivus
16S rRNA Reference Sequences:    view in
RefSeq tree
RefSeq ID: 389_0541

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Genotypic Description:
Phenotypic Characteristics: Gram-positive cocci. Nonmotile nonsporulating catalase negative and oxidase negative. Facultatively anaerobic with complex growth requirements. Grows as satellite colonies adjacent to Staphylococcus epidermidis [1].
Cultivability: Requires 10 mg/l pyrixoxal hydrochloride or 100 mg/l L-cysteine for growth [1]
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Microbial Ecology
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NCBI Taxon ID: 46125 [Link to NCBI]
PubMed Searches:
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[NCBI (Entrez) Nucleotide Link]
[NCBI (Entrez) Protein Link]
Number of
Genome Sequences:
2 See List
Phylogenetic Trees:
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[1] Kawamura Y, Hou XG, Sultana F, Liu S, Yamamoto H, Ezaki T. Transfer of Streptococcus adjacens and Streptococcus defectivus to Abiotrophia gen. nov. as Abiotrophia adiacens comb. nov. and Abiotrophia defectiva comb. nov., respectively. Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1995 Oct;45(4):798-803
[2] Bouvet A, Grimont F, Grimont PAD Streptococcus defectivus sp. nov. and Streptococcus adjacens sp. nov., nutritionally variant streptococci from human clinical specimens. Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1989 Jul; 39(3):290-294
[3] Hashimoto T, Jodo S, Furusaki A, Kon Y, Amasaki Y, Atsumi T, Komatsu H, Shimokawa J, Yonezawa K, Koike T. A woman with infectious endocarditis caused by Abiotrophia defectiva. Intern Med. 2004 Oct;43(10):1000-4
[4] Corby PM, Lyons-Weiler J, Bretz WA, Hart TC, Aas JA, Boumenna T, Goss J, Corby AL, Junior HM, Weyant RJ, Paster BJ. Microbial risk indicators of early childhood caries. J Clin Microbiol. 2005 Nov;43(11):5753-9
[5] Aas JA, Paster BJ, Stokes LN, Olsen I, Dewhirst FE. Defining the normal bacterial flora of the oral cavity. J Clin Microbiol. 2005 Nov;43(11):5721-32
[6] Christensen JJ, Facklam RR. Granulicatella and Abiotrophia species from human clinical specimens. J Clin Microbiol. 2001 Oct;39(10):3520-3
[7] Frenkel A, Hirsch W Spontaneous development of L. forms of streptococci requiring secretions of other bacteria or sulphydryl compounds for normal growth Nature. 1961 191:728-730