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      Interpreting chromosomal DNA restriction patterns produced by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis: criteria for bacterial strain typing

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          New molecular techniques for microbial epidemiology and the diagnosis of infectious diseases.

          A major aim of clinical microbiologists over the last century has been to demonstrate the presence of pathogenic microorganisms in clinical or pathologic samples associated with infectious diseases. With the development of molecular genetics over the last two decades, new technologies have become available that allow more sensitive and specific determinations to be made in shorter periods. Two considerable benefits have accrued: Epidemiologists are now capable of judging clonality among various clinical isolates more powerfully, permitting added accuracy in the evaluation of the epidemic spread of microbes, and clinicians have gained enormous ability to diagnose previously difficult-to-detect pathogens.
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            Comparison of traditional and molecular methods of typing isolates of Staphylococcus aureus.

            Fifty-nine Staphylococcus aureus isolates and 1 isolate of Staphylococcus intermedius were typed by investigators at eight institutions by using either antibiograms, bacteriophage typing, biotyping, immunoblotting, insertion sequence typing with IS257/431, multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, restriction analysis of plasmid DNA, pulsed-field or field inversion gel electrophoresis, restriction analysis of PCR-amplified coagulase gene sequences, restriction fragment length polymorphism typing by using four staphylococcal genes as probes, or ribotyping. Isolates from four well-characterized outbreaks (n = 29) and a collection of organisms from two nursing homes were mixed with epidemiologically unrelated stock strains from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Several isolates were included multiple times either within or between the sets of isolates to analyze the reproducibilities of the typing systems. Overall, the DNA-based techniques and immunoblotting were most effective in grouping outbreak-related strains, recognizing 27 to 29 of the 29 outbreak-related strains; however, they also tended to include 3 to 8 epidemiologically unrelated isolates in the same strain type. Restriction fragment length polymorphism methods with mec gene-associated loci were less useful than other techniques for typing oxacillin-susceptible isolates. Phage typing, plasmid DNA restriction analysis, and antibiogram analysis, the techniques most readily available to clinical laboratories, identified 23 to 26 of 29 outbreak-related isolates and assigned 0 to 6 unrelated isolates to outbreak strain types. No single technique was clearly superior to the others; however, biotyping, because it produced so many subtypes, did not effectively group outbreak-related strains of S. aureus.
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              Comparison of genomic DNAs of different enterococcal isolates using restriction endonucleases with infrequent recognition sites.

              Epidemiologic evaluation of enterococci has been limited by the lack of a simple and effective method for comparing strains. In this study, we have compared chromosomal restriction endonuclease digestion patterns of 27 isolates of Enterococcus faecalis from three different locations by using pulsed-field electrophoresis of large chromosomal fragments (14 to 1,000 kilobases). All but two isolates generated a clear, evaluable pattern with a single lysis and digestion, and the remaining two were visualized when a larger quantity of bacteria was used. All isolates from different locations generated different restriction patterns, as did most isolates within a single location; there was also evidence of spread of strains between individuals in each location. The ease with which this analysis can be performed, together with the clarity and polymorphism seen in the patterns, suggests that this technique will be very useful for epidemiological evaluations of nosocomial enterococcal infections.

                Author and article information

                Journal of Clinical Microbiology
                J Clin Microbiol
                American Society for Microbiology
                September 1995
                September 1995
                : 33
                : 9
                : 2233-2239
                [1 ]National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.
                © 1995



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