Taxonomy, conventional and molecular identification (1975-to date)

The interest in this field, the main one until 1990, dates since 1975. The work was aimed to study peculiar isolates, to clarify their taxonomic status and/or importance in human pathology, to formulate new culture media and original identification techniques, mainly for bacterial genera whose taxonomy was not yet fully determined and to the design simple and reliable methods of identification for clinical isolates. New media and techniques were developed and validated, aimed to the identification of enterobacteria. In order to identify enterococci, lytic enzymes active on Micrococcus peptidoglycan were described and an identification method based on such enzymes was proposed. Commercial identification system were checked and compared. The ability of Prevotella nigrescens, an important periodontal pathogen, to invade human epithelial cells and the adsorption of Streptococcus mutans to hydroxyapatite were also studied. Work is in progress to study techniques aimed to quickly distinguish Pseudomonas otitidis from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in samples of clinical origin.