The Arthrobacteria are common to soils and have been noted as beneficial. One of the functions is to reduce hexavalent chromium as well as degrade agriculture pesticides.
They belong to the family Micrococcaceae. They have been identified as indoor contaminants in a variety of settings including homes, offices, hospitals, farm buildings, etc.
The common soil species are globiformis and nicotianae.
They do not normally cause infections in humans. However, clinical isolates from patients with infections (wound, urine, blood, septicemia, endocarditis specimens) include the following species: cumuminsii, woluwensis, oxydans, luteolus and albus.
The Arthrobacteria are difficult to culture and require special culture procedures to identify. The bacteria take on two different shapes. During rapid growth they are gram positive rods, while later in the culturing they divide and take on a round (cocci) gram positive configuration. The use of corticosteroids, as mentioned in the Complexity of Damp Indoor Spaces, may cause immune suppression in individuals treated with this hormone for two or more weeks for inflammation resulting from exposure to microbes in water-damaged structures.
In addition, Arthrobacter infections have been identified in immunecompromised (cancer) patients.
For more information about Arthrobacteria, read the following papers:
Identification of Arthrobacter oxydans, Arthrobacter luteolus sp. nov., and Arthrobacter albus sp. nov., Isolated from Human Clinical Specimens (2000). J Clin Microbiol. 2000 Jun; 38(6): 2412–2415. Read the paper.
Isolation of Arthrobacter spp. from Clinical Specimens and Description of Arthrobacter cumminsii sp. nov. and Arthrobacter woluwensis sp. nov. (1996) Journal Clinical Microbiology, Oct. 1996, p. 2356–2363. Read the paper.
Characteristics of Arthrobacter cumminsii, the Most Frequently
Encountered Arthrobacter Species in Human Clinical Specimens. (1998) JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY,
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