A3: Elizabeth O. King

Elizabeth O. King was an American microbiologist who identified and cataloged bacteria for the Center of Disease Control from the late 1940s to the 1960s. She has the genera Kingella and  Elizabethkingia named in honor of her pioneering work for the CDC, as well as the species Kingella kingae.  

In 1935, she earned a Bachelors of Science in Zoology from the University of Georgia, and in 1938, a Masters of Science in Medical Technology from Emory University. She then joined the Women’s Army Corps in 1943, and worked in a hospital in Maryland for the remained of WWII.

After WWII, she went to work at the Communicable Disease Center till her retirement in the early 1960s. The center would be renamed during her time there several times, but the initials, CDC, would remain the same.

Kingella kingae is a gram negative aerobic coccobacilli that was first recognized by King, but unable to be identified until 1968 when technology was able to isolate and identify it. It causes pediatric diseases, including septic arthritis, osteomyelitis, bacteremia, and endocarditis.


“Our History-Our Story.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 22 July. 2015.


“Kingella Kingae.”  Wikipedia, The Free  Encyclopedia. 28 Sept. 2017.


Yagupsky, P. 2015. Kingella kingae: Carriage, transmission, and disease. Clinical           Microbiology Reviews 28:54-79

“Elizabeth O. King.”  Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 28 Sept. 2017.


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