Serratia mercescens Prodigiosin Pigment on Nutrient Agar: Introduction, Pathogenecity

Prodigiosin Pigment of Serratia mercescens

 Serratia mercescens Prodigiosin pigment

Serratia mercescens on Nutrient agar showing pink/ magenta, a non-diffusible pigment called prodigiosin which expressed optimally at room temperature.

 Introduction of Serratia

  • Scientific classification is as-
  • Domain: Bacteria
  • Domain: Bacteria
  • Phylum: Proteobacteria
  • Class: Gammaproteobacteria
  • Order: Enterobacterales
  • Family: Yersiniaceae
  • Genus: Serratia
  • Species: S. mercescens

Serratia is a genus of Gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria of the family Yersiniaceae. Species of this genus, other than  Serratia  marcescens are currently – S. aquatilis, S. entomophila, S. ficaria, S. fonticola, S. grimesii, S. liquefaciens, S. marcescens, S. microhaemolytica, S. myotis, S. nematodiphila, S. odoriferae, S. oryzae, S. plymuthica, S. proteamaculans, S. quinivorans corrig, S. rubidaea, S. symbiotica, S. ureilytica, S. vespertilionis. They are typically 1–5 μm in length, do not produce spores, and can be found in water, soil, plants, and animals.

About pigmentation of Serratia mercescens

Some members of this genus produce a characteristic red pigment, prodigiosin, and can be distinguished from other members of the order Enterobacterales by their unique production of three enzymes: DNase, lipase, and gelatinase (serralysin).

Pathogenicity of Serratia mercescens

Serratia was thought to be a harmless environmental bacteria until it was discovered that the most common species in the genus.  Serratia marcescens, is an opportunistic pathogen of humans. In humans, it is mostly associated with nosocomial, or hospital-acquired, infections, but can also cause urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and endocarditis. It is frequently found in showers, toilet bowls, and around wetted tiles as a pinkish to red biofilm but only causes disease in immunocompromised individuals. Aside from Serratia marcescens, some rare strains of the Serratia species S. plymuthica, S. liquefaciens, S. rubidaea, and S. odoriferae have been shown to cause infection such as osteomyelitis and endocarditis.


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