Plants in hospitals

Tue Nov 3 18:26:11 EST 1992

Robert Brambl wrote "In the mid-1970's some workers found that certain 
plants ("mums") commonly  
were infested with bacterial plant pathogens that could also be  
potentially serious pathogens of human burn victims.  Although it was  
never actually demonstrated that a patient obtained an invection from such  
a source, a few people concluded that it was enough of a potential problem  
so that plants distribution should be regulated in certain hospital wards."

	Dear Robert,

	I always thought that plant pathogenic bacteria were not pathogenic to 
human or animals.  Do you know which bacterium was accused of being 
pathogenic to both plants and animals?  Is it possible that it was actually 
an epiphytic bacterium (live on the surface of the plant without causing 
symptoms).  Erwinia herbicola, is an epiphytic bacterium that can be 
isolated from plant lesions in association with pathogenic bacteria (as for 
example in the case of the fire blight disease of apple and pear).  E. 
herbicola has the same biochemical characteristics as Enterobacter 
agglomerans which has been found as second invader in lesions on different 
mammals.  However, I never heard of any strain going from plant to animal 
or vice versa.  Do you have any reference on the mums bacterium?


  Joel L. Vanneste
  The Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Ltd 
  Ruakura Agricultural Centre,		
  Private Bag 3123, Hamilton,		e mail: VANNESTEJ%RUAKURA.CRI.NZ  
  New Zealand						fax 64 7 838 5073

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