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J Clin Microbiol. Jul 1992; 30(7): 1829–1836.
PMCID: PMC265389

Use of restriction fragment length polymorphisms resolved by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis for subspecies identification of mycobacteria in the Mycobacterium avium complex and for isolation of DNA probes.

Abstract

Mycobacterial strains from the Mycobacterium avium complex were compared with each other and with Mycobacterium phlei isolates by restriction endonuclease digestion of chromosomal DNA with SspI and analysis by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Characteristic profiles were observed for known typed strains, and five groups were identified. Primary bovine isolates identified as Mycobacterium paratuberculosis by classical methods were shown to fall into both the M. paratuberculosis- and M. avium-like groups. M. paratuberculosis 18 was in the latter category. Two Mycobacterium intracellulare strains of different Schaefer serotypes had different digestion profiles. In addition, this system was exploited for the preparation of DNA probes by the isolation, digestion, and subcloning of DNA fragments separated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Probe JC12 hybridized only to M. avium complex strains, but not to M. phlei, showing characteristic hybridization profiles for each of the groups previously identified by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The approach taken in the study lends itself to the comparative analysis of members of the M. avium complex and to the isolation and characterization of DNA probes with specificity for these mycobacteria.

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