Novel catalase-negative, Gram-stain-positive, beta-haemolytic, coccus-shaped organisms were isolated from Chacoan peccaries that died from respiratory disease. The initial API 20 Strep profiles suggested Streptococcus agalactiae with acceptable identification scores, but the 16S rRNA gene similarity (1548 bp) to available sequences of streptococci was below 98 %. Next taxa of the genus Streptococcus, displaying highest similarities to the strains from this study, were S. bovimastitidis NZ1587T (97.5 %), S. iniae ATCC 29178T (97.5 %), S. hongkongensis HKU30T (97.4 %), S. parauberis DSM 6631T (97.1 %), S. penaeicida CAIM 1838T (97.1 %), S. pseudoporcinus DSM 18513T (97.0 %), S. didelphis DSM 15616T (96.6 %), S. ictaluri 707-05T (96.6 %), S. uberis JCM 5709T (96.5 %) and S. porcinus NCTC 10999T (96.4 %). All other Streptococcus species had sequence similarities of below 96.4 %. A sodA gene as well as whole genome-based core genome phylogeny of three representative strains and 145 available Streptococcus genomes confirmed the unique taxonomic position. Interstrain average nucleotide identity (ANI) and amino acid identity (AAI) values were high (ANI >96 %; AAI 100%), but for other streptococci clearly below the proposed species boundary of 95-96 % (ANI <75 %; AAI <83 %). Results were confirmed by genome-to-genome distance calculations. Pairwise digital DNA-DNA hybridization estimates were high (>90 %) between the novel strains, but well below the species boundary of 70 % for closely related Streptococcus type strains (23.5-19.7 %). Phenotypic properties as obtained from extended biochemical profiles and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry supported the outstanding rank. Based on the presented molecular and physiological data of the six strains, we propose a novel taxon for which we suggest the name Streptococcus catagoni sp. nov. with the type strain 99-1/2017T (=DSM 110457T=CCUG 74072T) and five reference strains.
Keywords: MALDI-TOF MS; Streptococcaceae; beta-haemolytic streptococci; novel species; peccary; pneumonia.