SUMMARY: A co-operative taxonomic study has been performed on slowly growing non-pigmented mycobacteria (Runyon's group III). Phenetic data on 89 strains, studied in 18 laboratories, were collected and analysed by a numerical taxonomic method. A variety of immunological properties, lipid analyses and measures of pathogenicity were analysed independently to establish correlation with numerical classification. and were recognized by almost all participants as distinct species. was considered to be synonymous with A clearcut distinction could not be made between and ; the majority of participants in the study recommend that be reduced to a synonym of A minority of authors cannot agree with this proposal.


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