Identifying Unknown Bacteria: A Scientific Approach

In summary, the unknown bacteria has been identified as a Gram-negative cocci shape that is catalase positive with only one bubble. It also has endospores, which were detected using the Schaeffer-Fulton method. The antibiogram results show that the bacteria is resistant to Streptomycin, Chloramphemicol, Penicillin, and Kanamycin. While it is possible that the bacteria is a new strain of Staphylococcus, the presence of endospores and Gram-negative characteristics suggest that it may be a new species. Further tests or consultation with an expert may be needed for a definitive identification.
  • #1

Homework Statement

I have done tests on this unknown bacteria and this were the results:

Cocci shape Gram (-) negative

Catalase (+) positive (only one bubble though)

Oxidase( - )negative

Has endospores (used Schaeffer-Fulton method)


Resistant to Streptomycin, Chloramphemicol, Penicillin and Kanamycin

Homework Equations


The Attempt at a Solution

Is it Staphylococcus? I searched and the antibiotic resistance lines up. Staphylococcus doesn't form endospores though and is gram positive.


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  • #2
It's been a (very) long time since I did microbiology, but aren't most cocci gram-positive? I think that should narrow it down quite a bit. Also, most endospore-forming bacteria are gram-positive too. So maybe redo some of the tests?
  • #3
Well from what the comments and you are saying we have 2
Possibilities here 1.its staph but a new strain and you get to name it or 2.its a new species you get to name it .i’d Say send some to an expert but if you think you can do it then I believe in you but don't be dissapointed and you can’t figure it out

Related to Identifying Unknown Bacteria: A Scientific Approach

1. How do you identify unknown bacteria?

The process of identifying unknown bacteria involves several steps. First, the bacteria must be isolated and grown in a controlled laboratory environment. Then, various tests and techniques such as Gram staining, biochemical tests, and DNA sequencing are used to determine the characteristics and genetic makeup of the bacteria. These results are then compared to a database of known bacteria to identify the species.

2. What is the purpose of identifying unknown bacteria?

Identifying unknown bacteria is important for a variety of reasons. It allows scientists to understand the characteristics and behavior of different bacteria, which can have significant implications in fields such as medicine, agriculture, and environmental science. It also helps in the development of treatments and prevention measures for bacterial infections.

3. What are some common techniques used to identify unknown bacteria?

Some common techniques used to identify unknown bacteria include Gram staining, which is used to determine the bacterial cell wall composition, and biochemical tests, which assess the presence of specific enzymes and metabolic processes. Other methods, such as DNA sequencing and mass spectrometry, are also commonly used in bacterial identification.

4. Can unknown bacteria be harmful?

Yes, unknown bacteria can be harmful. Bacteria can cause a wide range of infections and diseases, from minor skin infections to life-threatening illnesses. Identifying unknown bacteria is important in determining the potential for harm and developing appropriate treatment and prevention measures.

5. How accurate is the process of identifying unknown bacteria?

The accuracy of identifying unknown bacteria depends on the methods used and the expertise of the scientist performing the identification. However, with advancements in technology and techniques, the accuracy has significantly improved in recent years. It is important to follow proper protocols and use multiple methods to increase the accuracy of bacterial identification.

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