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Diagnostic tables for the common medical bacteria

  • S. T. Cowan (a1) and K. J. Steel (a1)


A simple device by which the characters of an unknown organism can be com pared with those of named genera and species is described. The comparison is made by using ‘diagnostic tables’ of characters found to have differential value.

Separate tables for Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria were made; the first stage indicated the probable genus into which the unknown fell and a second (and occasionally a third) stage was needed to identify the species or subspecies.

We wish to thank Dr Ruth E. Gordon for much unpublished data which were invaluable in constructing Table 1 gg, Miss Helen E. Ross for helping with Table 1f, Dr Oleg Lysenko for letting us use data from a paper about to be published, and Mr W. Clifford for the photographs and figures.

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