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Routine procedures for isolation and identification of enterococci and fecal streptococci.

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  • Research Article
  • Biology


Over the past 6 years, a revised classification of the streptococci and enterococci, based primarily on molecular techniques such as 16S rRNA sequencing and DNA-DNA hybridization, emerged. However, little attention was placed on routine physiological tests that could be used in food and clinical laboratories to differentiate between species of a new genus, Enterococcus, and fecal Streptococcus spp. The purpose of this study was to devise a convenient and reliable system to identify enterococci and fecal streptococci by using conventional procedures. Fifty-nine strains of 13 Enterococcus spp., including the type strains and many strains used by previous investigators, were characterized by using conventional tube tests, the API Rapid Strep system, and MicroScan Pos ID panels. Results were compared with each other and with previously published results. A comparison of conventional tube tests versus published tube test results yielded 17 discrepancies. Although not all tests were done with each of the three systems, 28 discrepancies between results obtained with the API system and those obtained with conventional tube tests were found. There were 24 discrepancies between results obtained with the MicroScan Pos ID panel and those obtained with conventional tube tests. There were 12 discrepancies between the results with the API Rapid Strep system and those with the MicroScan Pos ID panels. We devised flow charts of key tests that might be used to identify cultures without resorting to nucleic acid analysis and other labor- and equipment-intensive analyses.

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