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(Iversen et al. 2008) (Joseph et al. 2011)
(Iversen et al. 2008) (Joseph et al. 2011)
Cronobacter is a genus of Gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, oxidase-negative, catalase-positive, rod-shaped bacteria of the family Enterobacteriaceae. They are generally motile, reduce nitrate, use citrate, hydrolyze esculin and arginine, and are positive for L-ornithine decarboxylation. Acid is produced from D-glucose, D-sucrose, D-raffinose, D-melibiose, D-cellobiose, D-mannitol, D-mannose, L-rhamnose, L-arabinose, D-trehalose, galacturonate and D-maltose. Cronobacter spp. are also generally positive for acetoin production (Voges–Proskauer test) and negative for the methyl red test, indicating 2,3-butanediol rather than mixed acid fermentation. The type species of the genus Cronobacter is Cronobacter sakazakii comb. nov. The genome of one strain of Cronobacter sakazakii (BAA-894) has been sequenced and annotated. According to multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) the genus originated ~40 MYA, and the most clinically significant species, C. sakazakii, was distinguishable ~15-23 MYA. .
All Cronobacter species, except C. condimenti, have been linked retrospectively to clinical cases of infection in either adults or infants. The majority of Cronobacter cases occur in adults, most often bacteraemia and have not been studied in detail. However the majority of neonatal and infant infections have been associated with C. sakazakii and have received considerable attention. Additionally, Cronobacter spp. are associated as causative agents of neonatal bacteraemia, meningitis and necrotising enterocolitis. However multilocus sequence typing  has shown that the majority of neonatal meningitis cases in the past 30 years, across 6 countries have been associated with only one genetic lineage of the species Cronobacter sakazakii called 'Sequence Type 4' or 'ST4', and therefore this clone appears to be of greatest concern with infant infections.
Two cases of infants infected with Cronobacter sakazakii were reported to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services during the month leading up to Dec 18, 2011. One of the infants died from the infection. Enfamil announced that one lot of their newborn baby formula was pulled off of shelves (recalled) following the death of the infant, but Enfamil says their product has been tested and is safe. CDC analysis of the two cases, using PFGE, revealed the cases were unrelated, and that one of the strains was isolated from both an opened infant formula tin, nursery water and reconstitution feed. No Cronobacter were isolated from unopened tins of infant formula from the same batch. It is notable that the isolates of C. sakazakii from meningitis cases were from the ST4 clonal complex, and therefore support the previously retrospect study.
Cronobacter was first proposed as a new genus in 2007 as a clarification of the taxonomic relationship of the biogroups found among strains of Enterobacter sakazakii. This proposal was validly published in 2008 with 5 species and 3 subspecies named. The genus definition was further revised in 2012 with seven named species. This used the seven loci MLST data to support the definition of two new species; C. universalis and C. condimenti. .
Cronobacter (Cro.no.bac'ter) is from the Greek noun Cronos (Κρόνος), one of the Titans of mythology, who swallowed each of his children as soon as they were born, and the New Latin masculine noun bacter, a rod, resulting in the N.L. masc. n. Cronobacter, a rod that can cause illness in neonates.
Cronobacter sakazakii (sak.a.zaki.ī. N.L. gen. n. sakazakii, of Sakazaki) is named in honour of the Japanese microbiologist Riichi Sakazaki.
Cronobacter malonaticus (mă.lō.nă.tĭ'cŭs) is from N.L. n. malonas -atis, malonate; L. suff. -icus, suffix used with the sense of belonging to; N.L. masc. adj. malonaticus, pertaining to the use of malonate. The type strain, CDC 1058-77T, was isolated from a breast abscess.
Cronobacter muytjensii (mœ.tjәn.sĭ.ī), from the N.L. gen. n. muytjensii, of Muytjens, is named in honour of the Dutch microbiologist Harry Muytjens, who performed much of the early work on Enterobacter sakazakii.
C. dublinensis subsp. lactaridi (lăkt.ărĭd.ī), is from the L. n. lac lactis, milk, L. adj. aridus, dried, to give N.L. gen. n. lactaridi, of a dried milk.
Cronobacter universalis (u.ni.ver.sa'lis) is L. masc. adj. universalis, of or belonging to all or universal.
Cronobacter condimenti (con.di.men'ti) is from the L. gen. n. condimenti, of spice or seasoning.