Isolation and characterization of Corynebacterium spp. from bulk tank raw cow's milk of different dairy farms in Germany

We detected Corynebacterium spp. in raw milk samples of three farms by means of a selective, tellurite-containing medium. The isolated strains were identified based on full 16S rRNA gene sequences and partial rpoB gene sequences as C. xerosis, C. variabile, C. lactis, C. callunae, C. confusum, C. glutamicum and C. crudilactis. The identification based on 16S rRNA and rpoB sequences was not reliable for isolates of C. xerosis. Chemotaxonomic markers of the isolates, fatty acids, acyl type of peptidoglycan, presence and length of mycolic acids, quinone patterns, and polar lipids, were in accord with the known characteristics of these species. Biochemical profiles, analyzed with the API Coryne system, were able to differentiate all groups, but were unable to identify the strains due to an inappropriate database for raw-milk associated corynebacteria. Most of the tested isolates showed a single-substance resistance against oxacillin, but three single isolates were classified as multidrug resistant.