Evaluation of methods for differentiation of coagulase-positive staphylococci.

J R Roberson, L K Fox, D D Hancock and T E Besser
Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-6610.
ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to determine the minimum number of tests that could be used to differentiate between the coagulase-positive strains of staphylococcus: Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus hyicus, and Staphylococcus intermedius. Eighty coagulase-positive strains of each of the three species were examined. The five tests conducted were growth on modified Baird-Parker agar, growth on P agar supplemented with acriflavin, production of acetoin, anaerobic fermentation of mannitol, and presence of beta-galactosidase. Positive test percentages for S. aureus were 100% for growth on modified Baird-Parker agar, 100% for growth on P agar supplemented with acriflavin, 94% for production of acetoin, 99% for anaerobic fermentation of mannitol, and 0% for presence of beta-galactosidase. Positive test percentages for S. intermedius were 0% for growth on modified Baird-Parker agar, 0% for growth on P agar supplemented with acriflavin, 1% for production of acetoin, 0% for anaerobic fermentation of mannitol, and 100% for presence of beta-galactosidase. S. hyicus isolates were negative in all five tests. Results from the 240 coagulase-positive staphylococcus strains tested would suggest correct identification of coagulase-positive staphylococci with P agar supplemented with acriflavin and the beta-galactosidase test. These two tests are simple to conduct and result in quick and easy differentiation of the three coagulase-positive staphylococcal species.
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