During a survey of bacterial agents that cause subclinical mastitis in water buffalos, we isolated several strains of gram-positive cocci that appeared to be enterococci except that they grew very slowly at 45°C and grew slowly in broth containing 6.5% NaCl. On the basis of the results of conventional physiologic tests, these strains were identified as However, none of the strains reacted with the AccuProbe genetic probe. The whole-cell protein profiles of these organisms were compared with the profiles of and reference strains. Apart from minor quantitative differences, the mastitis isolates had indistinguishable protein profiles that were similar to the profiles of the and type strains. The results of DNA relatedness studies performed by using the hydroxy-apatite method at 55 and 70°C indicated that all of the mastitis isolates were related to the type strain of at the species level, despite the fact that they exhibited several uncommon phenotypic characteristics (growth at 45°C, growth in broth containing 6.5% NaCl, and failure to produce acid from mannitol and sucrose). The high levels of DNA relatedness between strains of and demonstrated that these taxa are members of a single species. Since is a senior synonym of should be retained as the species name and strain ATCC 43921 should remain the type strain of this species.


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