Previously, nine fecal isolates from wild birds and a domestic swine were identified as helicobacters by phenotypic characterization and reaction with a helicobacter genus-specific DNA probe. These isolates fell into three biotypes by analysis of phenotypic traits. To further characterize these isolates, full 16S rRNA sequences were determined for strains representing each biotype, and sequence comparison indicated that the strains represented three novel, phylogenetically defined species. Three 16S rRNA-based DNA probes were designed and used to identify the remaining strains. Probe reactivity divided the strains into the same three groups identified phenotypically. Six of the isolates represented a new species of the genus for which we propose the name sp. nov. The following phenotypic features distinguished from other and species: positive tests for oxidase, catalase, alkaline phosphatase, nitrate reduction, growth at 42°C, and growth in the presence of 1% glycine; negative tests for urease, gamma glutamyl transpeptidase, indoxyl acetate hydrolysis, and hippurate hydrolysis; and susceptibility to nalidixic acid and cephalothin. cells were motile and possessed one subterminal sheathed flagellum at each end. The two additional species were similar to except that they were urease positive, hydrolyzed indoxyl acetate, and were resistant to cephalothin. Because these two additional species are phenotypically similar and are represented by only two isolates for one species and one isolate for the other, they are not formally named but are referred to as sp. “Bird-B” and sp. “Bird-C.” These three new species can easily be confused with , and if only a limited number of phenotypic traits are used for identification. Since it is now known that birds can harbor as well as species, methods which clearly distinguish these genera should be used to identify bird campylobacter-like isolates or bacterial strains traceable to bird fecal contamination. The zoonotic potential of these new species should be examined.


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