More than 1000 strains of gram-negative anaerobic bacilli, including reference strains, clinical isolates, and members of the normal flora of the mouth, lower gastro-intestinal tract and vagina of healthy human subjects, were studied by conventional bacteriological methods and by gas-liquid chromato-graphic analysis of metabolic products in a series of investigations. A short combined set of tests with particular discriminant value was selected, and a scheme for the identification of the species and subspecies encountered in the diagnostic bacteriological laboratory was based upon our composite results. The tests are: antibiotic-disk resistance tests with neomycin 1000 μg, kanamy-cin 1000 μg, penicillin 2 units and rifampicin 15μg per disk; tolerance tests with sodium taurocholate, Victoria blue 4R and gentian violet; and tests for pigment production, indole production, aesculin hydrolysis and the fermentation of glucose, lactose, sucrose, rhamnose, trehalose, mannitol and xylose. Gram-negative anaerobic bacilli are divided into four groups: (1) the fragilis group with nine species, which include the five subgroups previously classified as subspecies of (2) the melaninogenicus-oralis group, which includes the three saccharolytic subspecies (ss.) of -ss. ss. and ss. -and four non-pigmented species; (3) the asaccharolytic group, which comprises (formerly ss. and other non-pigmented non-saccharolytic strains, and (4) the fusobacteria.


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