Leuconostoc mesenteroids characteristics, morphology, diseases

David Holt

The Leuconostoc mesenteroids It is a gram positive bacterium that is found throughout the planet. It was first described in 1878 by Tsenkovskii. It is one of the bacteria of the genus Leuconostoc best known and studied.

This bacterium does not represent any danger to man, since it is not a recognized pathogen as such. This is so in normal individuals, whose immune system works properly..

Dextran Important product provided by Leuconostoc mesentedamientos. Source: By Edgar181 [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

In elderly people, with HIV or with pathologies that affect the immune system, the bacteria can pass into the bloodstream and from there begin to wreak havoc and cause damage to the body.

The Leuconostoc mesenteroids it also has other uses and applications. For example, in the field of medicine, the dextrans that it generates are used and solutions are obtained that function as substitutes for blood plasma. Likewise, dextran can form complexes with iron and be an effective treatment against anemia..

Article index

  • 1 Taxonomy
  • 2 Morphology
  • 3 General characteristics
  • 4 Diseases
    • 4.1 Sepsis
    • 4.2 Endocarditis
  • 5 References


The taxonomic classification of the Leuconostoc mesenteroids is the next:

Domain: Bacterium

Division: Firmicutes

Class: Bacilli

Order: Lactobacillales

Family: Leuconostocaceae

Gender: Leuconostoc

Species: Leuconostoc mesenteroids


Cells Leuconostoc mesenteroids They are round in shape, with an average size between 0.5 microns wide and 1 micron long. The arrangement of cells is varied. There may be individual cells, in pairs or in small chains.

It has a cell wall that contains a thick layer of peptidoglycan. Likewise, the cells are not surrounded by a protective capsule. They do not have cilia or flagella.

The genome of the bacterium is made up of a circular chromosome and contains some plasmids. Likewise, the DNA contains 2003 genes that code for the expression and synthesis of some proteins..

When grown on artificial media, colonies are small (less than 1mm), viscous in appearance, smooth, and opaque in color..

General characteristics

It is gram positive

This bacterium acquires a characteristic purple color when subjected to the Gram stain technique..

Thanks to the thickness of the peptidoglycan layer, the particles of the dye used are retained there, giving the bacteria the purple color already mentioned..

It is facultative anaerobic

Unlike other bacteria, leuconostoc mesenteroids it does not require oxygen for the different processes it carries out. This bacterium has a metabolism based on other processes.

Despite this, under certain conditions it can use oxygen. If oxygen is not present, the bacteria can opt for other processes such as fermentation. Oxygen is not toxic to the leuconostoc mesenteroids.

It is catalase negative

The genes that code for the expression of certain proteins, such as catalase enzymes, are not present in the genome of this bacterium..

By not presenting this enzyme, the bacteria are not able to separate hydrogen peroxide (HtwoORtwo) in water and oxygen.

It is indole negative

The Leuconostoc mesenteroids it does not synthesize the group of enzymes known as tryptophanases. For this reason, it is not able to separate the indole group from the tryptophan molecule, which is an amino acid..

This is an experimental test that is frequently performed in laboratories when they want to identify unknown bacterial strains..


This is a bacterium that is found in practically every environment on the planet. They are epiphytes. They can be found associated with other species of the genus Leuconostoc on various floors. They are particularly abundant in fruit trees and in various vegetables.


The Leuconostoc mesenteroids it is a bacterium that has a fairly complex metabolism. When you are not using oxygen for your processes, you can go the route of heterolactic fermentation. In this process, products such as ethanol and carbon dioxide are obtained from glucose..

Likewise, it converts citrate into diacetyl and acetone. Sucrose converts it to dextran.

Actually, the metabolism of Leuconostoc mesenteroids is a complex of chemical reactions in which carbohydrates such as glucose undergo a series of changes to generate the aforementioned products.

Growing conditions

In order to develop properly, the Leuconostoc mesenteroids it must be in a medium that provides all the necessary nutrients, such as amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

Likewise, the temperature conditions are extremely important, being these a little lower than the rest of the bacteria..

It is resistant to vancomycin

It has been determined experimentally that leuconostoc mesenteroids manifests high resistance to the antibiotic vancomycin. All species of the genus Leuconostoc manifest this characteristic.


The Leuconostoc mesenteroids it is not a bacterium pathogenic to man, except in those individuals with a compromised immune system. In these cases, the bacteria enter the body, travel through the bloodstream (bacteremia) and can reach any part of the body and cause damage to various tissues..

Among the diseases that can be caused by Leuconostoc mesenteroids, there are sepsis and endocarditis.


Sepsis is a pathology in which the body has a serious anti-inflammatory response to some pathogenic agent such as bacteria, fungi and viruses..

In this pathology, the discomfort that is felt is not the bacteria itself, but the strong immune response of the organism.


  • Decreased blood pressure.
  • High fever
  • Dizziness
  • Acne
  • Warm skin
  • Confusion


Endocarditis is nothing more than inflammation, mild or severe, of the innermost structures of the heart. The bacteria have a predilection for the atrioventricular valves (between the atria and the ventricles). Here the leuconostoc mesenteroids can proliferate and colonize structures, giving way to symptoms and signs.


  • High fever
  • Shaking chills
  • Excessive sweating
  • Mild bleeding under the nails.
  • Small red spots on the sole of the foot and on the hand
  • Swelling in the hands, arms, and abdomen
  • Swelling of the feet, legs, and abdomen.

Faced with any of these signs or symptoms, if they are prolonged for a long time, the ideal is to attend the doctor, since he will be the one who determines if there is an infection by Leuconostoc mesenteroids and of course, it will establish the treatment guideline to follow.


  1. Cleskey, C., Faville, L. and Barnett, R. (1947). Characteristics of Leuconostoc mesenteroids from Cane Juice. Journal of Bacteriology. 54 (6). 697-708
  2. González, R., Gómez, J., Penín, M., Ruano, D. and García J. (2009). Sepsis by Leuconostoc in a 2-month-old malnourished patient. Annals of Pediatrics. 71 (3). 185-280
  3. Leuconostoc mesenteroids. Obtained from: microbewiki.
  4. Lozano, A., Arvizú, S., Padilla, J., Pérez, A. and Ibarra, J. Evaluation of microbial development and behavior under different conditions of Leuconostoc mesenteroids. Obtained from: uaq.mx

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