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The genus Hafnia: from soup to nuts.

The genus Hafnia, a member of the family Enterobacteriaceae, consists of gram-negative bacteria that are occasionally implicated in both intestinal and extraintestinal infections in humans. Despite the fact that the genus currently contains only a single species (H. alvei), more extensive phylogenetic depth (two or more species) is apparent based upon DNA relatedness and 16S rRNA gene sequencing studies. Hafnia causes a variety of systemic infections, including septicemia and pneumonia; however, its role as a gastrointestinal pathogen is controversial. Many of the data supporting a role for hafniae as enteric pathogens were incorrectly attributed to this genus rather than to the actual pathogen, Escherichia albertii. There are numerous gaps in our understanding of this genus, including ecologic habitats and population genetics, disease-producing role in animals, phenetic and genetic methods useful in distinguishing genomospecies within the H. alvei complex, and bona fide pathogenicity factors.[1]


  1. The genus Hafnia: from soup to nuts. Janda, J.M., Abbott, S.L. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. (2006) [Pubmed]
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