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J Clin Microbiol. 2001 Apr;39(4):1549-52.

16S ribosomal DNA sequence analysis distinguishes biotypes of Streptococcus bovis: Streptococcus bovis Biotype II/2 is a separate genospecies and the predominant clinical isolate in adult males.

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Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


We characterized 22 human clinical strains of Streptococcus bovis by genotypic (16S rRNA gene sequence analysis [MicroSeq]; Applied Biosystems, Foster City, Calif.) and phenotypic (API 20 Strep and Rapid ID32 Strep systems (bioMerieux Vitek, Hazelton, Mo.) methods. The strains, isolated from blood, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and urine, formed two distinct 16S ribosomal DNA sequence clusters. Three strains which were associated with endocarditis urinary tract infection (UTI), and sepsis clustered with the S. bovis type strain ATCC 33317 (cluster 1); other closely related type strains were S. equinus and S. infantarius. Nineteen strains clustered at a distance of about 2.5% dissimilarity to the S. bovis type strain (cluster 2) and were associated with central nervous system (CNS) disease in addition to endocarditis, UTI, and sepsis. All strains were distinct from S. gallolyticus. Within cluster 2, a single strain grouped with ATCC strain 43143 (cluster 2a) and may be phenotypically distinct. All the other strains formed a second subgroup (cluster 2b) that was biochemically similar to S. bovis biotype II/2 (mannitol negative and beta galactosidase, alpha galactosidase, beta glucuronidase, and trehalose positive). The API 20 Strep system identified isolates of cluster 2b as S. bovis biotype II/2, those of cluster 1 as S. bovis biotype II/1, and that of cluster 2a as S. bovis biotype I. There was an excellent correlation of biotype and genotype: S. bovis biotype II/2 isolates form a separate genospecies distinct from the S. bovis, S. gallolyticus, and S. infantarius type strains and are the most common isolates in adult males.

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