Using phenotypic characterization, we found that 17 strains of asaccharolytic pigmented species isolated from soft-tissue infections in cats could be divided into five distinct groups. All of these strains were catalase positive, required vitamin K-hemin for growth, did not grow in bile, and did not exhibit α-glucosidase activity. The organisms in groups A and E (five strains) did not fluoresce under ultraviolet light at 365 nm and were indole positive. Group A organisms hemagglutinated sheep erythrocytes, but group E strains did not. The members of both of these groups produced large amounts of phenylacetic acid (group A average, 497 μg/ml; group E average, 404 μ/ml), and both groups showed trypsin-like activity (detected by using -benzoyl--arginine-2-napthylamide). The guanine-plus-cytosine contents of the deoxyribonucleic acids of group A strains ranged from 48 to 51 mol%; group E strain guanine-plus-cytosine contents ranged from 44 to 47 mol%. The members of groups B, C, and D (12 strains) all fluoresced and were indole positive. Group D strains hemagglutinated sheep erythrocytes, whereas groups B and C strains did not. Trypsin-like activity occurred in groups C and D but not in group B, and all strains produced phenylacetic acid (group B average, 11 μg/ml; group C average, 313 μg/ml; group D average, 999 μg/ml). The group B, C, and D, deoxyribonucleic acids had the following guanine-plus-cytosine contents: group B, 45 to 47 mol%; group C, 45 to 48 mol%; group D, 49 to 50 mol%. All groups of strains differed phenotypically and by isoelectric focusing of bacterial proteins from the asaccharolytic pigmented type strains ATCC 33277 and ATCC 25260; they were different also from the saccharolytic pigmented type strains ATCC 29147, ATCC 25611, and ATCC 33141.


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