“As a former microbiologist, I couldn’t be prouder of the laboratory team in the discovery of this new organism. Their discovery could lead to potential improvements in patient care that we can’t even imagine,” explains Dr. Eric Lunn, president of Altru Health System.
In November 2015, microbiologists in Altru’s Laboratory discovered a new species of bacteria isolated from a positive blood culture. In recognition of their work, Altru’s microbiology team was granted naming rights for the discovery. Together, the team voted for the species name altruii.
“While it might seem odd to have a bacteria named after you, it’s really quite an honor in the scientific community,” explains Marijo Roiko, Ph.D., Altru’s microbiology program director. “This is especially exciting because it demonstrates that we’re still in the age of discovery in microbiology. Ultimately, this will improve our ability to diagnose and treat patients.”
The bacteria provisionally named Pontibacter altruii species nova will undergo further testing and publication in an academic journal prior to being accepted as a valid scientific name.