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Vet Microbiol. 2009 Mar 2;134(3-4):327-33. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.08.028. Epub 2008 Sep 7.

Comparison of a commercialized phenotyping system, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and tuf gene sequence-based genotyping for species-level identification of coagulase-negative staphylococci isolated from cases of bovine mastitis.

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  • 1National Veterinary Institute, SE-75189 Uppsala, Sweden.


In order to evaluate the usefulness of some phenotypic and genotypic methods for species identification of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS), isolates were obtained from bovine cases of clinical and sub-clinical mastitis from different geographical areas in Sweden. By using the Staph-Zym test, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and sequencing of part of the CNS tuf gene and, when needed, part of the 16S rRNA gene we characterized 82 clinical isolates and 24 reference strains of 18 different species of staphylococci. The genotypic methods identified nine different species of CNS among the 82 milk isolates. A comparison with results obtained by tuf gene sequencing showed that Staph-Zym correctly identified CNS reference strains to species level more often than bovine milk CNS isolates (83% and 61%, respectively). In addition, tests supplementary to the Staph-Zym were frequently needed in both groups of isolates (50% of reference strains and 33% of milk isolates) to obtain an identification of the strain. It is notable that Staph-Zym judged two isolates as CNS, although they belonged to other species, could not give a species name in 11% of the bovine CNS isolates, and gave 28% of the isolates an incorrect species name. The present study indicates that the studied phenotypic methods are unreliable for identification of CNS from bovine intra-mammary infections.

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