A selective medium for the isolation of Microbacterium species in oral cavities

Osamu Tsuzukibashi, Satoshi Uchibori, Taira Kobayashi, Masanori Saito, Koji Umezawa, Mitsuhiro Ohta, Noriko Shinozaki-Kuwahara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The genus Microbacterium has been isolated from the environment, dairy goods, and human clinical specimens. Although, in our previous studies, some Microbacterium species were infrequently detected in oral samples collected from humans, there is currently no report that these organisms, which are capable of causing serious systemic infections, were isolated from the human oral cavity. The aim of the present study was to develop a selective medium to isolate the representative Microbacterium species most frequently detected in human clinical specimens, and reveal the distribution of individual Microbacterium species in the oral cavity. The growth recoveries of representative Microbacterium species on the selective medium, designated as MSM, were sufficient. Moreover, the growth of other representative oral bacteria was markedly inhibited on the selective medium. The proportion of Microbacterium species in the saliva samples of 60 subjects, 20 of whom were removable denture wearers, was then examined. The proportion of these organisms was also examined in environmental samples obtained by swabbing 20 washstands. PCR primers were designed for representative Microbacterium species. The genus Microbacterium was detected in 45% of the saliva and denture plaque samples collected from the twenty removable denture wearers, but was absent in the saliva of the forty non-denture wearers. On the other hand, these organisms were detected in all environmental samples. The genus Microbacterium accounted for 0.00003%, 0.0001%, and 12.6% of the total cultivable bacteria number on the BHI medium in the saliva and denture plaque samples of removable denture wearers and in the environmental samples, respectively. The most predominant Microbacterium species in all positive samples was Microbacterium oxydans. These results indicated that the genus Microbacterium was not a part of the normal flora in the human oral cavity, except for subjects wearing dentures that were contaminated by the environment, and the selective medium, designated as MSM, was useful for isolating Microbacterium species, which are frequently encountered in human clinical specimens, from the various samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-65
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Microbiological Methods
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


  • Genus Microbacterium
  • Oral cavity
  • Selective medium


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