. Thirty strains from the group (SMG) obtained from various sources were tested for a range of characters that could be associated with pathogenicity and the results were compared with those for type strains of , and . The SMG strains were heterogeneous in all tests. Most (18) belonged to one of the Lancefield groups with group F predominating. Adherence of strains isolated from abscesses to buccal epithelial cells was greater than that of other strains (p = 0.033). Compared with strains of , SMG strains were generally not aggregated by human saliva. They differed from the type strain of in their relative ability to bind fibrinogen and fibronectin; they were less effective in binding fibrinogen (0.33-4.28% cf. 22% for ) and generally more effective in binding fibronectin (0.49-12.37% cf. 0.95%). Strains isolated from infections were statistically better at binding fibronectin than other strains (p <0.001). The ability of strains to adhere to saliva-coated hydroxyapatite (SHA) varied 10-fold, from 0.16-16.35%. The amount of fibronectin bound by SMG strains correlated with their ability to adhere to SHA (p <0.001). The hydrophobicity of the strains, as measured in the hexadecane partition assay, ranged from 0.0% to 99.0%. Some strains carried both positive and negative cell-surface charges and some strains with a highly hydrophobic cell surface also possessed a relatively high cell-surface charge. A minority of strains possessed a net positive cell-surface charge. Neither hydrophobicity nor cell-surface charge was related to the capacity of strains to adhere to SHA. Strains of SMG co-aggregated weakly with strains of , V. dispar, and .


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