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Epidemiological differentiation of Serratia marcescens: typing by bacteriocin sensitivity

, : Epidemiological differentiation of Serratia marcescens: typing by bacteriocin sensitivity. Applied Microbiology 23(2): 226-231

Strains of Serratia marcescens were compared and differentiated by a new method. Bacteriocin lysates were prepared from mitomycin-induced S. marcescens and added to lawns of test strains. From 100 bacteriocin producers, 12 were chosen with the aid of computer analysis as the most useful in differentiation. Uniform drops of the 12 standard bacteriocins were added simultaneously with a bacteriocin-bacteriophage dropper to each strain to be typed. All 93 strains of S. marcescens tested were typable and were differentiated into 79 different sensitivity patterns. One pattern had three strains, 12 patterns had two strains each, and 66 patterns had only one strain. The bacteriocins also inhibited Shigella, Klebsiella, and Enterobacter, but no other Enterobacteriaceae. Bacteriocin sensitivity was less stable as an epidemiological marker than bacteriocin production. Several colonial mutants had sensitivity patterns different from the wild types, but most mutants were identical. In three different instances when cross-infection had been shown by other methods, bacteriocin sensitivity also gave the correct epidemiological results. Until the significance and frequency of genetic variations are known, a more stable epidemiological technique should be used in conjunction with bacteriocin sensitivity.

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Accession: 005375228

PMID: 4552885

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