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J Clin Microbiol. 1995 Jan; 33(1): 11–15.
PMCID: PMC227870

Identification of Acinetobacter genomic species by amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis.


A total of 53 field and reference strains, including the type strains of the seven named species (nomenspecies) and belonging to the 18 described genomic species (DNA groups) of the genus Acinetobacter, were studied by amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA). Restriction analysis with the enzymes AluI, CfoI, MboI, RsaI, and MspI of the enzymatically amplified 16S rRNA genes allowed us to identify all species except the genomic species 4 (Acinetobacter haemolyticus) and 7 (A. johnsonii), 5 (A. junii) and 17, and 10 and 11, which clustered pairwise in three respective groups. Further analysis with the enzyme HaeIII, HinfI, NciI, ScrFI, or TaqI did not allow us to differentiate the species within these three clusters. However, use of a few additional simple phenotypic tests (hemolysis, growth at 37 degrees C, production of acid from glucose, and gelatin hydrolysis) can be used to differentiate between the species within these clusters. ARDRA proved to be a rapid and reliable method for the identification of most of the Acinetobacter genomic species, including the closely related DNA groups 1 (A. calcoaceticus), 2 (A. baumannii), 3, and 13. The results of this study suggest that ARDRA can be used for the identification of Acinetobacter species and as such may help to elucidate the ecology and clinical significance of the different species of this genus. Since ARDRA uses universal 16S rRNA gene primers, it is expected to be applicable to the identification of most bacterial species. Furthermore, ARDRA is less prone to contamination problems than PCR for detection, since the use of cultured organisms results in a large initial quantity of target DNA.

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Selected References

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