Whole-cell rhamnose concentrations were measured in 48 strains of streptococci resembling and . Physiological characteristics were tested by the API-20/Strep system, and it was found that “typical” (arginine positive, aesculin positive) contained significant amounts of rhamnose, while “typical” (arginine negative, aesculin negative) contained very low or undetectable amounts of rhamnose. Both groups contained dextran-positive and dextran-negative strains. Organisms that were more difficult to speciate (those giving positive results in the arginine or the aesculin test, but not in both) could also be divided into a rhamnose-positive and a rhamnose-negative group; with one exception, all of the rhamnose-positive strains gave a positive result with arginine in the API-20/Strep test.

There were several discrepancies between the results of conventional tests for arginine and aesculin hydrolysis and those of the corresponding API test. The results of conventional tests for arginine hydrolysis did not correlate closely with rhamnose content, and conventional tests for aesculin hydrolysis were less sensitive than API tests. With the API-20/Strep system, can almost always be distinguished from by its ability to hydrolyse arginine.


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