Seven strains of an unknown Gram-positive catalase-negative chain-forming coccus-shaped organism isolated from clinical specimens from sheep were characterized by phenotypic and molecular taxonomic methods. Comparative 16S rRNA gene sequencing studies demonstrated that the bacterium represents a new sub-line within the genus Streptococcus. The unknown bacterium was readily distinguished from recognized streptococcal species by biochemical tests and electrophoretic analysis of whole-cell proteins. Based on phylogenetic and phenotypic evidence, it is proposed that the unknown bacterium be classified as Streptococcus ovis sp. nov. The type strain of Streptococcus ovis is CCUG 39485T (= LMG 19174T).


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