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The gelatin hydrolysis test detects the ability of bacteria to produce gelatinases. This test aids in the identification of Serratia, Pseudomonas, Flavobacterium and Clostridium. It distinguishes the gelatinase-positive, pathogenic Staphylococcus aureus from the gelatinase-negative, non-pathogenic Staphylococcus epidermidis. Gram-positive, spore-forming, rod-shaped aerobic or anaerobic bacteria, such as Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus, B. subtilis, Clostridium perfringens and C. tetani ,are also positive for gelatin hydrolysis. The test can be used to differentiate genera of gelatinase-producing bacteria, such as Serratia and Proteus from other members of the family Enterobacteriaceae.

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