A new subspecies, subsp. , isolated from human blood cultures, a wound, a breast abscess and a catheter tip, is described on the basis of a study of 26 strains isolated between 1989 and 1996. DNA-DNA reassociation reactions, conducted under stringent conditions, and macrorestriction pattern analysis demonstrated that these strains are closely related to previously characterized strains isolated from human skin and clinical specimens, but are significantly divergent. subsp. can be distinguished from (now named subsp. ) by its combined characteristics of novobiocin resistance and failure to produce acid aerobically from D-trehalose and -acetyl-D-glucosamine. Furthermore, all 26 strains of the new subspecies are resistant to nalidixic acid, penicillin G, oxacillin, kanamycin and streptomycin, and were either resistant or had intermediate resistance to methicillin and gentamicin. Most strains were also resistant to erythromycin, clindamycin, chloramphenicol, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and ciprofloxacin. Based on a comparison of the sequences of a 1001 bp amplification product from reference methicillin-resistant staphylococci, the gene present in subsp. was identified as homologue A, commonly found in and many coagulase-negative staphylococcal species. The type strain of subsp. is ATCC 700236. Descriptions of subsp. subsp. nov. and subsp. are given and the description of is emended.


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