Three subspecies of subsp. Kloos, Schleifer, and Smith 1976, 23 emend. Kloos et al. 1996, subsp. subsp. nov., and subsp. subsp. nov., are described on the basis of their ribotype patterns, DNA-DNA liquid hybridization data, and phenotypic characteristics. Normalized ribotyping subdivided the patterns into three blocks of patterns, each corresponding to a subspecies. Each subspecies formed a separate, well-defined DNA similarity group when DNA-DNA hybridizations were conducted under stringent (70°C) reassociation conditions. subsp. sciuri could be distinguished from the other subspecies on the basis of its ability to produce acid from -cellobiose, alkaline phosphatase activity, and inability to produce either clumping factor or protein A. subsp. could be distinguished by its ability to produce acid aerobically from -xylose and maltose, inability to produce acid from -melezitose, and smaller colony size on P agar. subsp. could be distinguished by its positive reaction in the latex agglutination test for clumping factor and/or protein A and generally higher frequencies and levels of oxacillin and methicillin resistance. All 40 strains of tested (including representatives of all three subspecies) hybridized with the gene probe. All strains of subsp. , 79% of the strains of subsp. and 89% of the strains of subsp. exhibited extracellular, staphylolytic enzyme activity. This activity was associated with an enzyme(s) that immunoblotted with a lysostaphin-specific monoclonal antibody; however, only three strains hybridized with a lysostaphin () gene probe. The type strain of subsp. is DD 791 (= ATCC 700058), and the type strain of subsp. is DD 4761 (= ATCC 700061).


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