Summary: Various characteristics of 13 coagulase-negative, weakly heat-stable deoxyribonuclease-positive staphylococci from human, veterinary and food sources were determined in an effort to identify them. Nine of the isolates were identified as coagulase-negative (2), (2), (3), (1) and subsp. (1); the other four isolates, from food and veterinary sources, could not be identified as currently accepted or proposed species. Teichoic acid and peptidoglycan compositions were used as key taxonomic characteristics. The determination of heat-stable deoxyribonuclease activity can be useful to detect coagulase-negative strains. However, this activity also appears to be present in strains of other staphylococcal species.


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