Three isolates of an unknown Gram-positive, catalase-negative, chain-forming, coccus-shaped organism isolated from an outbreak of septicaemia in a flock of adult broiler parents were characterized by phenotypic and molecular taxonomic methods. Comparative 16S rRNA gene sequencing studies demonstrated that the bacterium represents a new subline within the genus Streptococcus, related to, albeit distinct from, Streptococcus acidominimus, Streptococcus ovis, Streptococcus suis and close relatives. The unknown bacterium was readily distinguished from all recognized streptococcal species by biochemical tests. Based on phylogenetic and phenotypic evidence, it is proposed that the unknown bacterium from chickens be classified as Streptococcus gallinaceus sp. nov. The type strain is CCUG 42692T (= CIP 107087T).


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