Examination of three groups of catalase-positive campylobacters by phase-contrast microscopy showed significant differences in cell size between the groups. These differences were most striking when the spiral forms of the organisms were observed. consistently produced small, tightly coiled spirals with a mean wavelength and amplitude of 1.12 and 0.48 μm, respectively. subsp. produced intermediate-sized spirals (mean wavelength and amplitude of 1.80 and 0.55 μn, respectively); subsp. produced the largest spirals (mean wavelength and amplitude of 2.43 and 0.73 μm, respectively). Organisms belonging to the different groups could be distinguished by a trained observer on the basis of size alone, without actual measurement. Two additional features which distinguish from subsp. and subsp. are the tendencies of to swarm on moist agar plates and to undergo rapid coccal transformation in normal atmospheric air. These findings should help in clarifying the subdivision of catalase-positive campylobacters and in making a rapid presumptive species or subspecies identification.


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