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Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC)-PCR was employed to generate
ERIC-PCR fingerprints of 23 strains of E. sakazakii. A consensus fragment was observed
in all 23 strains and was purified, cloned and sequenced from type strain ATCC29544.
A comparison of the nucleotide acid with other sequences available in the GenBank
revealed 98% of identity with E. sakazakii ATCC BAA-894 and 71%-75% identity with
oligopeptidase gene or protease II gene of some species from the Enterobacteriaceae
family. The consensus fragment from ATCC29544 was used to synthesize probes using
DIG-labeling by PCR for dot hybridization. The consensus fragment was found to be
highly conserved. Diversity analysis based on the consensus fragment sequencing showed
a high heterogeneity between E. sakazakii strains and other related strains. In addition,
24 E. sakazakii strains could be distributed into two groups, while E. sakazakii ATCC51329
formed a separate branch. Genetic diversity and potential taxonomic complexity were
evident within the E. sakazakii strains.