Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 112, Issue 3, pp 435–450 | Cite as

Characterization of the pathogenicity of clinical Cronobacter malonaticus strains based on the tissue culture investigations

  • Abdlrhman M. Alsonosi
  • Ondrej Holy
  • Stephen J. ForsytheEmail author
Original Paper


Cronobacter malonaticus is a member of the genus Cronobacter which is considered an opportunistic pathogen. The significance of C. malonaticus has recently increased since it was documented to be involved in several serious neonatal infections. However, the virulence factors of C. malonaticus including their ability to adhere, invade and overcome host barriers have not been studied before. Unlike previous Cronobacter research, this study is mainly focused on C. malonaticus and is aimed to investigate its virulence characteristics that enable this species to cause adult and neonatal infections. Altogether, 20 strains were included in this study (19 clinical and one environmental strain). Our data showed that the clinical C. malonaticus has an ability to adhere and invade Caco-2, HBMEC, A549 and T24 cell lines. Moreover, the result showed that certain strains of C. malonaticus (including 1827 and 2018) were able to persist well in macrophages. However, ST7 strains 1827 and 2018 proved to be the most invasive strains among all used strains. The CDC strain 1569 (ST307) which was isolated from the blood of a fatal neonatal case showed also significant results in this study as it was able to invade all used human cells and survive and replicate within microphages. Finally, the findings of this study confirm the potential ability of C. malonaticus to cause serious infections in neonates or adults such as necrotising enterocolitis, meningitis, bacteraemia, pneumonia and urinary tract infection.


Cronobacter malonaticus Invasion Adherence Pathogenicity Macrophages 



The authors would like to thank Libyan embassy and Sabha University for the financial support and Nottingham Trent University for the technical support. This work was supported by Research Support Foundation, Vaduz (991100531/39).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdlrhman M. Alsonosi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ondrej Holy
    • 3
  • Stephen J. Forsythe
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Pathogen Research Group, School of Science and TechnologyNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Microbiology Department, Faculty of Biomedical SciencesSabha UniversitySabhaLibya
  3. 3.Department of Preventive MedicinePalacký University OlomoucOlomoucCzech Republic
  4. 4.foodmicrobe.comNottinghamshireUK

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