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J Clin Microbiol. 1996 Mar; 34(3): 628–633.
PMCID: PMC228859

Determination of stability of Brucella abortus RB51 by use of genomic fingerprint, oxidative metabolism, and colonial morphology and differentiation of strain RB51 from B. abortus isolates from bison and elk.


Brucella abortus RB51 and isolates from cattle, bison, and elk were characterized by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and standard techniques for biotyping Brucella species, which included biochemical, morphological, and antigenic techniques, phage susceptibility, and antibiotic resistance. The objectives were to ascertain the stability of RB51 and to differentiate RB51 from other brucellae. Genomic restriction endonuclease patterns produced by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis demonstrated a unique fingerprint for RB51 relative to other brucellae. Comparisons of the oxidative metabolic profiles of RB51 after time in vivo (14 weeks) and in vitro (75 passages) showed no change in characteristic patterns of oxygen uptake on selected amino acid and carbohydrate substrates. Strain RB51 was biotyped as a typical rough B. abortus biovar 1 (not strain 19) after animal passage or a high number of passages in vitro and remained resistant to rifampin or penicillin and susceptible to tetracycline. No reactions with A or M antiserum or with a monoclonal antibody to the O antigen of Brucella lipopolysaccharides were detected; however, RB51 agglutinated with R antiserum. The results indicate that the genomic fingerprint and rough colonial morphology of RB51 are stable characteristics and can be used to differentiate this vaccine strain from Brucella isolates from cattle, bison, and elk.

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Selected References

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