One thousand and thirty-five clinical isolates of the genus staphylococcus were used to compare the coagulase test with the deoxyribonuclease (DNase) and heat-stable nuclease tests as methods for identifying Staphylococcus aureus. Conflicting results were obtained with 65 isolates when the coagulase test was compared with the DNase test but with only one isolate when the coagulase test was compared with the heat-stable nuclease test. The heat-stable nuclease test produced reliable results after four hours' incubation and was considered a satisfactory substitute for the coagulase test in the clinical laboratory.
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