A porcelain plate microtest by which the decarboxylation of L-histidine by Clostridia could be detected within 6 hours is described. It was more sensitive than chromatographic procedures for detecting histamine production, using ninhydrin or Pauly's reagent as a developing agent, which were used for confirmation. All of 26 type A strains of and the one type F strain tested decarboxylated histidine. Strongly positive tests were obtained except for some of the Hobbs type strains that gave much weaker reactions. Two type C strains gave negative tests. Fifteen of 19 strains of also produced decarboxylation, but the reactions were weak and inconsistent. No strains of 18 other species of Clostridia tested produced decarboxylation.


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