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Appl Microbiol. 1974 Jan;27(1):16-24.

Simple genetic transformation assay for rapid diagnosis of Moraxella osloensis.


A genetic transformation assay for unequivocal identification of strains of Moraxella osloensis is described. In this assay a stable tryptophan auxotroph is transformed to prototrophy by deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) samples from other strains of M. osloensis but not by DNA samples from unrelated bacteria. The test is simple to perform and definitive results can be obtained in less than 24 h. The procedure, which is suitable for routine diagnosis in a clinical laboratory, involves a rapid method for preparation of crude transforming DNA from small quantities of bacterial cells and permits simultaneous examination of large numbers of isolated cultures. The assay was shown to correctly identify 27 strains previously classified as M. osloensis. Forty-five other gram-negative, oxidase-positive, nonmotile coccobacilli, which might be confused with M. osloensis unless subject to more extensive testing, were shown to be unrelated genetically to M. osloensis. The transformation assay clearly distinguishes M. osloensis from Acinetobacter. Although most strains of M. osloensis are nonfastidious, being able to grow in a mineral medium supplemented with a single organic carbon source, one of the strains tested was only able to grow on fairly complex media and could not be transformed to grow on simple media. Inability to alkalize Simmons citrate agar was shown not to be characteristic of all strains of M. osloensis.

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