Isolation and characterization of a new species of Neisseria, Neisseria musculi, from the wild house mouse.
Weyand NJ., Ma M., Phifer-Rixey M., Taku NA., Rendón MA., Hockenberry AM., Kim WJ., Agellon AB., Biais N., Suzuki TA., Sait LG., Harrison OB., Bratcher HB., Nachman MW., Maiden MC., So M.
Neisseria have been isolated from or detected in a wide range of animals, from nonhuman primates and felids to a rodent, the guinea pig (Liu et al., 2015). By means of selective culture, biochemical testing, Gram staining and PCR screening for the Neisseria-specific Internal Transcribed Spacer region of the rRNA operon, we isolated four strains of Neisseria from the oral cavity of the wild house mouse, Mus musculus subspecies domesticus. The isolates are highly related and form a separate clade in the genus, as judged by rMLST and core gene tree analyses. One isolate, provisionally named Neisseria musculi sp. nov. (type strain AP2031T = DSM 101846T = CCUG 68283T = LMG 29261T), was studied further. AP2031/N. musculi grows well in vitro. It is naturally competent, taking up DNA in a DUS and pilT-dependent manner, and is amenable to genetic manipulation. These and other genomic attributes of N. musculi make it an ideal candidate for use in developing a mouse model for studying Neisseria-host interactions.