Four strains isolated from European eels in Valencia, Spain, were found to constitute a DNA relatedness group which is 0 to 50% related to the 13 species and DNA group 11 of the genus . Phenotypically, these strains have all of the properties that define the genus . However, they differ from the previously described species by three or more properties. The strains are positive for motility, growth at 37°C, indole production, and arginine dihydrolase activity. They exhibit negative reactions in tests for growth at 42°C and in thiosulfate-citrate-bile salts-sucrose medium (Oxoid), Simmons citrate tests, and tests for lysine and ornithine decarboxylase activities. They produce acid from salicin but not from -arabinose, -cellobiose, or lactose. All four strains hydrolyze esculin and arbutin but not elastin. They use -serine as a sole carbon and energy source but cannot utilize -arabinose, -arginine, -gluconate, or -glutamine. The strains are resistant to ampicillin. The guanine-plus-cytosine content of the DNA is 59.4 to 60.8 mol%. The name sp. nov. is proposed for these strains; strain S181 (= CECT 4342) is the type strain. This new species is generally not pathogenic for eels or mice.


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