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JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY, Vol. 41, No. 12, Dec. 2003, p. 5654–5659


Six commercially available bacterial identification products were tested with Vibrio alginolyticus (12 strains), V. cholerae (30 strains), Photobacterium (Vibrio) damselae (10 strains), V. fluvialis (10 strains), V. furnissii (4 strains), V. hollisae (10 strains), V. metschnikovii (9 strains), V. mimicus (10 strains), V. parahaemolyticus (30 strains), and V. vulnificus (10 strains) to determine the accuracy of each system for identification. The products included API 20E, Crystal E/NF, MicroScan Neg ID2 and Rapid Neg ID3, and Vitek GNI+ and ID-GNB. Each product was tested only with those species that were listed in its database. Overall, the systems correctly identified 63.9, 80.9, 63.1, 73.6, 73.5, and 77.7% of the isolates to species level, respectively. Error rates ranged from 0.8% for the API 20E to 10.4% for the Rapid Neg ID3. The API 20E gave “no identification” for 13.1% of the isolates, while the Neg ID2, GNI, ID-GNB, and Crystal were unable to identify 1.8, 2.9, 5.0, and 6.9%, respectively. For V. cholerae, specifically, accuracy ranged from 50.0 to 96.7%, with the API 20E having the worst performance and Crystal having the best. V. fluvialis presented the biggest challenge for the API 20E and the GNI, with probabilities averaging 10%, while V. mimicus was a major problem with the Crystal E/NF, which identified none of the strains correctly. With the Neg ID2, correct answers were often obtained only after a modified inoculation of the panel with a bacterial suspension prepared with 0.85% NaCl. Additional tests required for identification often included growth in the absence of NaCl, which is not readily available in most clinical laboratories. The only product to correctly identify at least 90% of V. cholerae strains was the Crystal E/NF, and only three of the six products, the API 20E and both of the Vitek cards, correctly identified more than 90% of the V. parahaemolyticus strains. Thus, extreme care must be taken in the interpretation of answers from these six commercially available systems for the identification of Vibrio species.

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