Summary: As part of a larger taxonomic investigation of the genus 50 strains, including reference strains as well as clinical isolates, were subjected to multilocus enzyme electrophoretic (MLEE) analysis of 12 intracellular metabolic enzymes and characterization of their immunoglobulin A1 (IgA1) proteases by enzyme-neutralizing antibodies raised in rabbits. The dendrogram derived from cluster analysis of the MLEE data discriminated between the five known human species and separated the strains into two major divisions. Division A comprised and strains, and division B comprised and strains. Immunoglobulin A1 (IgA1) protease activity, a known feature of and was present in all strains except the type strain of and two clinical isolates. Inhibition typing of IgA1 proteases of all active strains with enzyme-neutralizing antibodies against protease preparations of the type strains of and separated the strains into two major groups identical to the two divisions based on the MLEE data. Thus, the IgA1 proteases of and seemed to be antigenically similar to one another, and different from the IgA1 proteases of and which had similar characteristics. The clustering of the clinical isolates based on the MLEE analyses, which was confirmed by the antigenic characterization of IgA1 proteases, was in good agreement with the results of previous studies.


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