Members of Bisgaard taxon 11 have been isolated from horses. These bacteria are of importance in the veterinary clinic and also to the medical profession, since they may be isolated from infected wounds of humans bitten by horses. Six strains from different continents were identified as taxon 11, with 16S rRNA similarities between 98.0 and 99.7%. A single isolate that represented the so-called (+)L-arabinose-positive Actinobacillus equuli isolated from a diseased foal showed 99.9% 16S rRNA similarity to the type strain of A. equuli. DNA-DNA hybridizations showed that (+)L-arabinose-positive strains of A. equuli represent A. equuli sensu stricto. DNA-DNA hybridizations also showed that A. equuli and Bisgaard taxon 11 represent two genotypes. These genotypes differ with respect to disease pattern and epidemiology. For these reasons, two subspecies of A. equuli are proposed, Actinobacillus equuli subsp. equuli subsp. nov. (type strain NCTC 8529T = ATCC 19392T) and Actinobacillus equuli subsp. haemolyticus subsp. nov. (type strain F 154T = CCUG 19799T = NCTC 13195T).


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