• Aerococcus urinae;
  • phenotypic tests;
  • transmission electron microscopy;
  • ribotyping;
  • multilocus enzyme electrophoresis;
  • DNA sequence analysis

A polyphasic characterization of Aerococcus urinae is presented. In this study the intraspecies relationships between 26 strains of varying geographical origin were examined by phenotypic tests, ribotyping and multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. The results demonstrated two main phenotypic patterns that could be distinguished in tests for hydrolysis of aesculin, and acid production from amygdalin and salicin. Strains were either negative (n=19) or positive (n=6) in these tests. One strain had a deviating pattern. Heterogeneity within the 19 pattern I strains was demonstrated especially by phenotypic tests (acid production from ribose, mannitol, sorbitol, sucrose and D-arabitol) and by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. However, DNA sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA (n=7) and gyrB genes (n=3) from strains representing the two main patterns showed no variation in sequences among strains. Comparison of A. urinae and representatives of related taxa by 16S rDNA sequence analysis showed that the taxon is related to, but distinct from, other Aerococcus spp.