Arch Ophthalmol. 1981 Sep;99(9):1587-90.
Azotobacter keratitis.
Liesegang TJ, Jones DR, Robinson NM.
Ten cases of Azotobacter keratitis were identified at the Baylor College of Medicine and Cullen Eye Institute,
Houston, from 1972 to 1980. Azotobacter are large, pleomorphic, aerobic, Gram-negative rods of the family
Azotobacteraceae. The genus comprises four species (A beijerinckii, A chroococcum, A paspali, and A vinelandii)
that are found in soil and water throughout the world. To our knowledge, Azotobactger species have not previously
been recognized as causing human, animal, or plant disease. On the basis of the similarity of the organisms, other
cases of Azotobacter keratitis may have been identified erroneously as Moraxella species.

The Azotobacter vinelandii gene algJ encodes an outer-membrane protein presumably involved in
export of alginate

The genetics and biochemistry of alginate biosynthesis have been extensively studied in algina te-producing mutants
of Psezldomonas aerzlginosa, i. e. mucoid strains (May & Chakrabarty, 1994). These mucoid strains play a crucial
role as human pathogens in cystic fibrosis patients (Govan & Harris, 1986), and alginate is one of the most important
virulence factors (Gacesa & Russell, 1990).

Axotobacter vinelandii, like several Psezldomonas species, synthesizes alginate as an exopolysaccharide, which
contributes to the differentiation process of cyst formation (Sadoff, 1975; Terzaghi & Terzaghi, 1986).

Alginate is an unbranched copolymer consisting of variable amounts of D-mannuronic acid and L-guluronic
acid. This polymer is produced in copious amounts by marine brown algae and by bacteria of the genera
Axotobacter and Psezdomonas (Gorin & Spencer, 1966 ; Govan e t al., 1981 ; Linker & Jones, 1966).