A newfound bacterium can cause illness in people, its discoverers have concluded. However, it may infect only people with a rare, inherited form of immune deficiency.
All three patients known to carry the microbe had a preexisting immune deficiency, chronic granulomatous disease (CGD).
In people with CGD, the bacterium may account for a significant number of infections, says Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Bethesda, Md. The finding, he says, "clearly will have very important implications for CGD patients."