Seven ureaplasma strains isolated from the oropharynx of chickens () were characterized and compared with the two previously described species of this genus, from humans and from cattle. The avian isolates were found to have similar biological, biochemical, serological, and genomic properties and were readily distinguished from the two previously described species. These avian ureaplasma strains have been reported to hydrolyze urea, but not to catabolize arginine or glucose; they lack a cell wall, pass through a 450-nm membrane filter, require cholesterol for growth, and form minute colonies (15 to 60 μm) on agar medium. The seven avian strains constitute a homogeneous group based on their antigenic properties as determined by the metabolism and growth inhibition tests and by protein composition analysis by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. On the basis of these findings, we propose that ureaplasmas with these characteristics belong to a new species, , with strain D6-1 (= ATCC 43346 = NCTC 11707) as the type strain.


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