Catalase Test

The catalase test is used to differentiate staphylococci (catalase-positive) from streptococci (catalase-negative). The enzyme, catalase, is produced by bacteria that respire using oxygen, and protects them from the toxic by-products of oxygen metabolism. Catalase-positive bacteria include strict aerobes as well as facultative anaerobes, although they all have the ability to respire using oxygen as a terminal electron acceptor. Catalase-negative bacteria may be anaerobes, or they may be facultative anaerobes that only ferment and do not respire using oxygen as a terminal electron acceptor (ie. Streptococci).

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