ABIS online - Advanced Bacterial Identification Software, an original tool for
phenotypic bacterial identification


STOICA COSTIN, SORESCU IONUT

#Published online at Regnum Prokaryotae - www.tgw1916.net, on September 1, 2017
ABSTRACT
Microorganisms’ phenotypic identification to species level is, sometimes, one of the most difficult stages
of bacteriological examination. For this purpose, many identification systems become available in recent
years, from commercial identification kits, to online software. Each of these systems has its limitations:
constraining the user to a predefined set of tests, limited interactivity, no relations to the ecological
significance and pathology of the isolated strains. To tackle these problems we have created ABIS online,
a laboratory tool for bacterial identification, based on morphology, biochemical characters, cultural
characteristics, ecology and pathogenicity data. The aim of the study was to present and validate ABIS
software by comparison to a commercially available identification system (API strips and apiweb™
bioMerieux software), testing 16 reference strains and 123 wild isolates. apiweb™ confirmed ABIS’s
results with a high percentage, showing a very good taxa identification by ABIS software.




INTRODUCTION
In the fields of applied bacteriology, human and veterinary clinic, phytopathology and also
in environmental microbiology, bacterial strains from various sources are routinely isolated
and phenotypically identified. Beside a properly equipped laboratory, this activity, on the
edge between science, technique, craftsmanship and art, requires specific culture media,
reagents, experienced specialists in bacteriology, and a bacterial identification system. The
identification systems may be the manuals of bacteriology (1-4), Bergey’s Manuals of
Determinative (5, 6) and Systematic (7-9) Bacteriology, review articles on specific bacteria
categories (10), commercial systems like apiweb™ (bioMerieux), Biolog, and online
systems. Each of these systems has its limitations, well-known by the specialists (no
interactivity, no updating for the newly described taxa, constraining the user to a predefined
set of tests, no instant connection to a database of ecological significance and pathology of
the isolated strains). To tackle these problems we created ABIS online - Advanced Bacterial
Identification Software (http://www.tgw1916.net), a laboratory tool for bacterial identification,
based on morphology, biochemical characters, cultural characteristics, ecology and
pathogenicity data. The program allows a great flexibility in choosing biochemical tests and
it is an alternative to commercial systems, code-books or identification tables. It is a free
software, available on World Wide Web since 2007, being increasingly used by students,
young researches, biologists and human and veterinary clinicians.
The aim of the study was to present and validate ABIS software by comparison to a
commercially available, standardized identification system.
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