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A wide range of biochemical, serological, and nucleic acid-based procedures are available for the definitive identification of microbial isolates. Accuracy, reliability, and speed are important factors that influence the selection of clinical identification protocols. The selection of the specific procedures to be employed for the identification of pathogenic isolates is guided by the need for presumptive or definitive identification of the organism at the family or genus and species level, based on the observation of and characterization of colonial morphology, phenotypic characteristics, and other key growth characteristics on primary isolation medium.