SUMMARY: A new serotype () of was isolated from the dental plaque of monkeys (). Serotype strains fermented mannitol and melibiose but not sorbitol or raffinose, failed to hydrolyse aesculin and arginine, did not produce hydrogen peroxide and were unable to grow in the presence of bacitracin at 2 units ml. Sodium dodecyl sulphate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of whole-cell proteins showed serotype strains to be closely related to strains of genetic group III (i.e. serotypes and ). The serotype-specific antigen of serotype contained glucose and galactose but was antigenically distinct from the polysaccharide antigens of serotypes and . Serotype strains preferentially colonized developmental grooves of teeth and the proportion of serotype in the plaque flora was greater in monkeys fed a sucrose-rich diet than in monkeys fed a starch-based diet. A serotype strain was cariogenic for germ-free rats fed a high-sucrose diet, and serotype strains appear to be implicated in the caries process in monkeys.


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