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      Identification of coagulase-negative staphylococci other than Staphylococcus epidermidis by automated ribotyping.

      Clinical Microbiology and Infection

      Phenotype, RNA, Bacterial, genetics, RNA, Ribosomal, 16S, Ribotyping, methods, Species Specificity, Staphylococcus, classification, isolation & purification

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          As routine identification of coagulase-negative staphylococci is problematic, the performance of automated ribotyping was evaluated for identification of coagulase-negative staphylococci other than Staphylococcus epidermidis. In total, 177 isolates were tested, comprising 149 isolates from blood samples, 15 isolates that were not identified by internal transcribed spacer (ITS)-PCR in a previous study, and 13 reference strains. The identification results were compared with those obtained by the API 20 Staph system, with standard phenotypic and molecular methods as reference. Most (n = 166; 93.8%) isolates were identified correctly by automated ribotyping. For 61 isolates, API 20 Staph and ribotyping were in agreement, but for 105 isolates, ribotyping provided correct identification and API 20 Staph did not. Four isolates not identified by automated ribotyping were recognised correctly by API 20 Staph. The remaining seven isolates could not be identified by either of the two methods. Automated ribotyping was able to distinguish Staphylococcus capitis reliably from Staphylococcus caprae. The results demonstrate the value of automated ribotyping for identification of coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CoNS) isolates from human sources and may help to clarify the clinical relevance of CoNS species. In addition, automated ribotyping was able to detect polymorphisms that may be useful for epidemiological purposes within S. capitis, Staphylococcus hominis, Staphylococcus haemolyticus, Staphylococcus simulans, S. caprae, Staphylococcus warneri, Staphylococcus lugdunensis, Staphylococcus schleiferi, Staphylococcus sciuri, Staphylococcus pasteuri and Staphylococcus xylosus.

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