Use these functions to return a specific property of a microorganism. All input values will be evaluated internally with, which makes it possible to use microbial abbreviations, codes and names as input. Please see Examples.

mo_name(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_fullname(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_shortname(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_subspecies(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_species(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_genus(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_family(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_order(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_class(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_phylum(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_kingdom(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_domain(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_type(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_gramstain(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_snomed(x, ...)

mo_ref(x, ...)

mo_authors(x, ...)

mo_year(x, ...)

mo_rank(x, ...)

mo_taxonomy(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_synonyms(x, ...)

mo_info(x, language = get_locale(), ...)

mo_url(x, open = FALSE, ...)

mo_property(x, property = "fullname", language = get_locale(), ...)



any (vector of) text that can be coerced to a valid microorganism code with


language of the returned text, defaults to system language (see get_locale()) and can also be set with getOption("AMR_locale"). Use language = NULL or language = "" to prevent translation.


other parameters passed on to


browse the URL using utils::browseURL()


one of the column names of the microorganisms data set or "shortname"


  • An integer in case of mo_year()

  • A list in case of mo_taxonomy() and mo_info()

  • A named character in case of mo_url()

  • A double in case of mo_snomed()

  • A character in all other cases


All functions will return the most recently known taxonomic property according to the Catalogue of Life, except for mo_ref(), mo_authors() and mo_year(). Please refer to this example, knowing that Escherichia blattae was renamed to Shimwellia blattae in 2010:

  • mo_name("Escherichia blattae") will return "Shimwellia blattae" (with a message about the renaming)

  • mo_ref("Escherichia blattae") will return "Burgess et al., 1973" (with a message about the renaming)

  • mo_ref("Shimwellia blattae") will return "Priest et al., 2010" (without a message)

The short name - mo_shortname() - almost always returns the first character of the genus and the full species, like "E. coli". Exceptions are abbreviations of staphylococci (like "CoNS", Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci) and beta-haemolytic streptococci (like "GBS", Group B Streptococci). Please bear in mind that e.g. E. coli could mean Escherichia coli (kingdom of Bacteria) as well as Entamoeba coli (kingdom of Protozoa). Returning to the full name will be done using internally, giving priority to bacteria and human pathogens, i.e. "E. coli" will be considered Escherichia coli. In other words, mo_fullname(mo_shortname("Entamoeba coli")) returns "Escherichia coli".

Since the top-level of the taxonomy is sometimes referred to as 'kingdom' and sometimes as 'domain', the functions mo_kingdom() and mo_domain() return the exact same results.

The Gram stain - mo_gramstain() - will be determined based on the taxonomic kingdom and phylum. According to Cavalier-Smith (2002, PMID 11837318), who defined subkingdoms Negibacteria and Posibacteria, only these phyla are Posibacteria: Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes and Tenericutes. These bacteria are considered Gram-positive - all other bacteria are considered Gram-negative. Species outside the kingdom of Bacteria will return a value NA.

All output will be translated where possible.

The function mo_url() will return the direct URL to the online database entry, which also shows the scientific reference of the concerned species.

Stable lifecycle

The lifecycle of this function is stable. In a stable function, major changes are unlikely. This means that the unlying code will generally evolve by adding new arguments; removing arguments or changing the meaning of existing arguments will be avoided.

If the unlying code needs breaking changes, they will occur gradually. For example, a parameter will be deprecated and first continue to work, but will emit an message informing you of the change. Next, typically after at least one newly released version on CRAN, the message will be transformed to an error.

Catalogue of Life

This package contains the complete taxonomic tree of almost all microorganisms (~70,000 species) from the authoritative and comprehensive Catalogue of Life ( The Catalogue of Life is the most comprehensive and authoritative global index of species currently available.

Click here for more information about the included taxa. Check which version of the Catalogue of Life was included in this package with catalogue_of_life_version().


  1. Becker K et al. Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci. 2014. Clin Microbiol Rev. 27(4): 870–926.

  2. Becker K et al. Implications of identifying the recently defined members of the S. aureus complex, S. argenteus and S. schweitzeri: A position paper of members of the ESCMID Study Group for staphylococci and Staphylococcal Diseases (ESGS). 2019. Clin Microbiol Infect.

  3. Lancefield RC A serological differentiation of human and other groups of hemolytic streptococci. 1933. J Exp Med. 57(4): 571–95.

  4. Catalogue of Life: Annual Checklist (public online taxonomic database), (check included annual version with catalogue_of_life_version()).

Read more on our website!

On our website you can find a comprehensive tutorial about how to conduct AMR analysis, the complete documentation of all functions (which reads a lot easier than here in R) and an example analysis using WHONET data.

See also


# taxonomic tree -----------------------------------------------------------
mo_kingdom("E. coli")         # "Bacteria"
mo_phylum("E. coli")          # "Proteobacteria"
mo_class("E. coli")           # "Gammaproteobacteria"
mo_order("E. coli")           # "Enterobacterales"
mo_family("E. coli")          # "Enterobacteriaceae"
mo_genus("E. coli")           # "Escherichia"
mo_species("E. coli")         # "coli"
mo_subspecies("E. coli")      # ""

# colloquial properties ----------------------------------------------------
mo_name("E. coli")            # "Escherichia coli"
mo_fullname("E. coli")        # "Escherichia coli" - same as mo_name()
mo_shortname("E. coli")       # "E. coli"

# other properties ---------------------------------------------------------
mo_gramstain("E. coli")       # "Gram-negative"
mo_snomed("E. coli")          # 112283007, 116395006, ... (SNOMED codes)
mo_type("E. coli")            # "Bacteria" (equal to kingdom, but may be translated)
mo_rank("E. coli")            # "species"
mo_url("E. coli")             # get the direct url to the online database entry
mo_synonyms("E. coli")        # get previously accepted taxonomic names

# scientific reference -----------------------------------------------------
mo_ref("E. coli")             # "Castellani et al., 1919"
mo_authors("E. coli")         # "Castellani et al."
mo_year("E. coli")            # 1919

# abbreviations known in the field -----------------------------------------
mo_genus("MRSA")              # "Staphylococcus"
mo_species("MRSA")            # "aureus"
mo_shortname("VISA")          # "S. aureus"
mo_gramstain("VISA")          # "Gram-positive"

mo_genus("EHEC")              # "Escherichia"
mo_species("EHEC")            # "coli"

# known subspecies ---------------------------------------------------------
mo_name("doylei")             # "Campylobacter jejuni doylei"
mo_genus("doylei")            # "Campylobacter"
mo_species("doylei")          # "jejuni"
mo_subspecies("doylei")       # "doylei"

mo_fullname("K. pneu rh")     # "Klebsiella pneumoniae rhinoscleromatis"
mo_shortname("K. pneu rh")    # "K. pneumoniae"

# \donttest{
# Becker classification, see ? ----------------------------------------
mo_fullname("S. epi")                     # "Staphylococcus epidermidis"
mo_fullname("S. epi", Becker = TRUE)      # "Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CoNS)"
mo_shortname("S. epi")                    # "S. epidermidis"
mo_shortname("S. epi", Becker = TRUE)     # "CoNS"

# Lancefield classification, see ? ------------------------------------
mo_fullname("S. pyo")                     # "Streptococcus pyogenes"
mo_fullname("S. pyo", Lancefield = TRUE)  # "Streptococcus group A"
mo_shortname("S. pyo")                    # "S. pyogenes"
mo_shortname("S. pyo", Lancefield = TRUE) # "GAS" (='Group A Streptococci')

# language support for German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French
mo_gramstain("E. coli", language = "de")  # "Gramnegativ"
mo_gramstain("E. coli", language = "nl")  # "Gram-negatief"
mo_gramstain("E. coli", language = "es")  # "Gram negativo"

# mo_type is equal to mo_kingdom, but mo_kingdom will remain official
mo_kingdom("E. coli")                     # "Bacteria" on a German system
mo_type("E. coli")                        # "Bakterien" on a German system
mo_type("E. coli")                        # "Bacteria" on an English system

mo_fullname("S. pyogenes",
            Lancefield = TRUE,
            language = "de")              # "Streptococcus Gruppe A"
mo_fullname("S. pyogenes",
            Lancefield = TRUE,
            language = "nl")              # "Streptococcus groep A"

# get a list with the complete taxonomy (from kingdom to subspecies)
mo_taxonomy("E. coli")
# get a list with the taxonomy, the authors, Gram-stain and URL to the online database
mo_info("E. coli")
# }