International journal of systematic bacteriology vol:48 pages:1145-1151
The taxonomic position of Photobacterium damselae subsp. piscicida, the causative agent of fish pasteurellosis, is controversial as this organism has also been described as 'Pasteurella piscicida'. To clarify the taxonomic position of the pathogen, a total of 113 P. damselae subsp, piscicida strains and 20 P. damselae subsp. damselae strains, isolated from different geographical areas and from the main affected fish species, were analysed using 129 morphological and biochemical tests, including the commercial API 20E and API CH50 test systems. For comparison, the type strains of other Photobacterium species (i.e. Photobacterium leiognathi and Photobacterium angustum) were included in the analyses. The results were statistically analysed by unweighted pair group average clustering and the distance between the different clusters was expressed as the percentage disagreement. The analyses showed that, based on morphological and biochemical identification tests, P. damselae subsp. piscicida is related to other Photobacterium species. However, it is clearly distinguishable from P. damselae subsp. damselae and no phenotypic evidence was found to include P. damselae subsp. piscicida as a subspecies in the species P. damselae.