The relationships of 77 aerotolerant Arcobacter strains that were originally identified as Campylobacter cryaerophila (now Arcobacter cryaerophilus [P. Vandamme, E. Falsen, R. Rossau, B. Hoste, P. Segers, R. Tytgat, and J. De Ley, Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 41:88-103, 1991]) and 6 reference strains belonging to the taxa Arcobacter nitrofigilis, Arcobacter cryaerophilus, and 'Campylobacter butzleri' were studied by using a polyphasic approach, in which we performed DNA-rRNA hybridizations, DNA-DNA hybridizations, a numerical analysis of whole-cell protein patterns after sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, an analysis of cellular fatty acid compositions, and a phenotypic analysis and determined DNA base ratios. Our results indicate that 'C. butzleri' should be transferred to the genus Arcobacter as Arcobacter butzleri comb. nov., as was suggested by Kiehlbauch and coworkers (J. A. Kiehlbauch, D. J. Brenner, M. A. Nicholson, C. N. Baker, C. M. Patton, A. G. Steigerwalt, and I. K. Wachsmuth, J. Clin. Microbiol. 29:376-385, 1991). A rapid screening of all strains in which we used the sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis technique revealed five major groups, which were identified by using DNA-DNA hybridization data as A. cryaerophilus (two distinct electrophoretic subgroups), A. butzleri, A. nitrofigilis, and a new species, for which we propose the name Arcobacter skirrowii. The phylogenetic position within rRNA superfamily VI was established for each species. A. butzleri strains and strains belonging to one of the electrophoretic subgroups of A. cryaerophilus had similar fatty acid contents. An analysis of fatty acid compositions allowed clear-cut differentiation of all of the other groups. All of the species could be distinguished by using classical phenotypic tests, although erroneous identifications due to a shortage of clear-cut differentiating tests could occur.
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