Clinical (66) and reference (5) strains of pigmented gram-negative anaerobic bacilli, identified as (47), (1), (8), (12), (1) and (2), were examined by pyrolysis mass spectrometry (PMS) and in conventional tests. Numerical classification based on conventional test reaction patterns (CTRPs) resolved five clusters, four comprising strains identified as , and respectively, and one comprising strains identified as and . Numerical classification based on PMS showed a similar division, with decreasing homogeneity of chemical composition in the order , which agreed with the order of homogeneity in CTRPs. PMS clusters corresponding to the genus were clearly distinct from those of the genus . PMS and CTRP classification disagreed on cluster membership for six strains. PMS identification from blind challenge sets was in agreement with conventional identification for 64 of 67 strains.


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