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Updated: Mar 6 2019

Enzyme Tests

  • Overview
    • The presence or absence of specific enzymes can be used to distinguish bacteria in the laboratory
      • urease
      • catalase
      • coagulase
      • oxidase
  • Urease
    • Catalyzes the hydrolysis of urea into carbon dioxide and ammonia
    • Increase in urine pH leads to renal calculi
    • Urease positive bugs ("Urease Contaminates Kidneys. Now Peeing HurtS.")
      • Proteus spp.
      • Helicobacter pylori
      • Klebsiella pneumoniae
      • Ureaplasma urealyticum
      • Nocardia spp.
      • Cryptococcus neoformans
      • S. epidermis and S. saprophyticus
  • Catalase
    • Decomposes hydrogen peroxide before the host can use it to fight infection
      • H2O2 normally converted to microbicidal products by the enzyme myeloperoxidase
      • particularly a problem in people with chronic granulomatous disease (NADPH oxidase deficiency)
        • diseased host does not make enough H2O2
    • Catalase positive
      • Staphylococci (all species)
        • "they have enough 'staff' to make catalase"
      • Nocardia spp.
      • Pseudomonas
      • Listeria
      • Aspergillus
      • Candida
      • E. coli
      • Burkholderia cepacia
      • Serratia marcescens
      • H. pylori
      • Aspergillus spp.
    • Catalase negative
      • Streptococci (all species)
      • most anaerobes
  • Coagulase
    • Coagulase positive
      • Staphylococcus aureus
      • Yersinia pestis
  • Oxidase
    • Oxidase positive
      • Neisseria spp.
      • most Gram-negative bacteria
    • Oxidase negative
      • Enterobacteriaceae
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