Pantoea spp.

Pantoea spp. are Gram-negative facultative anaerobic rod-shaped bacteria, belonging to the Erwiniaceae family. Pantoea spp. form a genus with 20 species that are very similar, including P. agglomerans, P. ananatis, P. dispersa, and P. stewartii [2].

P. agglomerans is the species that most commonly triggers infections in humans [2]. Infections predominantly affect immunosuppressed patients, thus a number of publications include reports of infections in cancer patients and outbreaks in neonatal intensive care units [3][4]. P. agglomerans causes a variety of very different clinical pictures [5][6]:

  • Bone, joint, and soft tissue infections

  • Bacteremia

  • Septicemia

  • Pneumonia

  • Urinary tract infections

  • Meningitis

Pantoea spp. occur in material containing fecal matter, plants, and soil, where they act
both as a part of the natural environment and as pathogens [2].

Relevance of pathogen in transmission in endoscopy

  • Gastroenterology: Low

  • Pulmonology: Low

  • Ear, nose, and throat: Not relevant

  • Urology: Low

Relevance for endoscope surveillance

  • High concern organism

Transmission route

Transmission results from injuries caused by thorns, wood splinters, or other plant matter. Nosocomial transmission has occurred due to contaminated parenteral nutrition, blood products, and anesthetic agents [2][7][8].

Resistance to antibiotics

Studies show that isolates of P. agglomerans can contain a broad spectrum of antibiotic resistant genes. Carbapenem-resistant P. agglomerans was identified as a trigger for pneumonia and death among children. P. agglomerans isolates recovered from baby food were resistant to cefotaxime, moxifloxacin, cotrimoxazole, and ticarcillin. The resistance genes can be transmitted to other species. P. agglomerans therefore poses a risk for the further spread of nosocomial pathogens [6].

Sources and further readings

  1. Azizi MF et al. The emergence of Pantoea species as a future threat to global rice
    production. Journal of Plant Protection Research. 2020, 60 (4): 327-335.

  2. Cruz AT et al. Pantoea agglomerans, a Plant Pathogen Causing Human Disease. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2007, 45 (6): 1989–1992.

  3. Liberto MC et al. Six cases of sepsis caused by Pantoea agglomerans in a teaching
    hospital. New Microbiol. 2009, 32 (1):119-23.

  4. Mani S, Nair J. Pantoea Infections in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Cureus. 2021, 13

  5. Dutkiewicz J et al. Pantoea agglomerans: a mysterious bacterium of evil and good. Part
    III. Deleterious effects: infections of humans, animals and plants.
    Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine. 2016, 23 (2): 197–205.

  6. Guevarra RB et al. Comprehensive genomic analysis reveals virulence factors and
    antibiotic resistance genes in Pantoea agglomerans KM1, a potential opportunistic
    pathogen. 2021, PLoS ONE 16 (1): e0239792.

  7. Penner M et al. Successful Treatment of Pantoea agglomerans Bacteremia Using
    Oral Antibiotics. Hindawi Case Reports in Infectious Diseases. 2022, Article ID 6136265.

  8. Cheng A et al. Bacteremia caused by Pantoea agglomerans at a medical center in
    Taiwan. Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection, 2013, 46 (3): 187-194.