A two-tier system for biotyping gave a fine and reliable differentiation of strains and is capable of future extension by the addition of new types and new tests. Strains were allocated to a primary biotype (1-16) by their reactions in four primary tests in culture media containing raffinose, sorbose, ornithine or dulcitol. Subtypes were distinguished within the primary biotypes by reactions in six secondary tests for rhamnose fermentation, lysine decarboxylation, aesculin hydrolysis, motility, type-1 fimbriation and prototrophy. Full biotypes were designated by letters indicating subtype reactions appended to primary type numbers.

A series of 599 strains (1242 cultures) of from diverse sources was classified into 16 primary biotypes and into 213 full biotypes. The biotype characters of a strain were generally stable during its spread in the natural environment and in non-selective media used for storage.


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