1887

Abstract

Strains deviating in key phenotypic characters, mainly isolated from cases of bovine pneumonia in five European countries, were genotyped in order to examine their genotypic relationship with . Twenty-two strains of biovar 2, including variants in indole, xylose and mannitol, 18 strains of biovar 2 and variants of this taxon, five strains of subsp. showing variations in indole and ornithine decarboxylase, nine strains of subsp. showing variation in ornithine decarboxylase and mannitol, and type strains of the subspecies of were included. Ribotyping was used to examine the relationship of the strains, and 13 types, each containing between one and 20 isolates, were observed. Identical ribotypes were observed in some cases for biovar 2 and either biovar 2 or subsp. . ITS (16S–23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer) fragment-length profiling showed identity of the majority of strains (47 of 52), representing all four taxa, with only five divergent strains. A 16S rRNA sequence comparison of 11 strains representing the main ribotype clusters showed 99·9 % similarity to the type strain of subsp. , but only 97·4 % similarity was obtained to (biovar 1) and 93·7 % to (biovar 1). A species-specific PCR test for gave a positive result with biovar 2 variants of and . DNA–DNA hybridizations between strains of , biovar 2 variants of and , and subsp. confirmed similarity at the species level. It is proposed, on the basis of genotypic similarity, that be reclassified to include the biovar 2 variants of and and that the existence of the biovar 2 variants of and is highly questionable. It is concluded that the redefined is genotypically homogeneous, although phenotypically diverse lineages exist with respect to ornithine decarboxylase, indole and mannitol, characters that have been regarded as essential for identification to the species level. A formal reclassification of the species is not possible, however, since too few strains have been found to vary in these key characters. Considering the phenotypic diversity of , identification will have to depend partly on genotypic methods and the source host also seems important for safe diagnosis.

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2004-06-01
2020-01-21
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