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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2001 Feb;39(2):77-83.

Rapid identification of pathogenic bacteria by single-enzyme amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis.

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  • 1Los Alamos National Laboratory, Bioscience Division, P.O. Box 1663, MS M888, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA.


Despite major progress in their treatment and prevention, bacterial infections remain a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In responding to a disease outbreak, rapid and accurate identification of the bacterial species involved is of paramount importance. Strain level discrimination is desirable to allow selection of treatment modalities, and in the case of a deliberate release, for identification of the source. Single-enzyme amplified fragment length polymorphism (SE-AFLP) analysis was used to perform species and strain identification of subgroup I Bacilli, Yersinia, Staphylococci and Escherichia coli. By careful selection of AFLP primers, it was possible to obtain reproducible and sensitive identification to strain level, even within the highly monomorphic species Bacillus anthracis. SE-AFLP fragments can be analyzed using standard gel electrophoresis, and can be easily scored by visual inspection, due to the low complexity of the fingerprint obtained by this method. These features make SE-AFLP suitable for use in either field or laboratory applications.

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