This paper describes the characterization and taxonomic status of N16, a chlamydial isolate from the respiratory tract of a horse. N16 contains plasmid DNA, has normal elementary body morphology and its inclusions do not stain with iodine. Its major outer-membrane protein (MOMP) gene was completely sequenced and compared with the MOMP genes of and This analysis revealed that N16 is closely related to the TWAR strain of (94.5% and 94.4% DNA homology with TWAR isolates IOL-207 and AR-39 respectively). By comparison, N16 shows between 72.1% and 73.7% DNA homology with strains, 70.9% and 71.1% homology with strains LW613 and 1710S and 69.2% homology with serotype E. The MOMP gene of N16 shares 93.8% DNA homology with the MOMP gene of a chlamydial isolate KC from the conjunctiva of a koala. Monoclonal antibodies raised to IOL-207 and shown to be -specific confirmed that N16 was more closely related to than to Thus DNA homology and monoclonal antibody data both suggest that horse chlamydiae, as exemplified by N16, form a new second strain of This species is probably more widespread and diverse than the current literature would suggest.


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