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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2002 Dec;25(4):544-50.

Comparison of ribotyping, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis for molecular typing of Vibrio tapetis.

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  • 1Departamento de Microbiología y Parasitología, Facultad de Biologia, Universidad de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.


Brown ring disease, caused by Vibrio tapetis, is an important pathological problem in different species of cultured clams. In order to evaluate the genetic diversity of the pathogen, twenty-seven isolates of V tapetis with different origin were screened by ribotyping (RT), pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA PCR (RAPD). Restriction with PvuII, SalI, and SmaI gave 2 RT patterns, differentiating in all cases the strain 0202RD isolated from carpet-shell clams (Ruditapes decussatus) from the other strains tested. The use of NotI generated strain specific PFGE profiles, which could be grouped in two main clusters. Cluster 1 grouped all but one strain and was subdivided into six PFGE subtypes (1a to 1f) which joined at a similarity level of 75.6%. Cluster 2 included again only the isolate 0202RD. RAPD analysis yielded the same results with three different primers, this method being able to differentiate the isolates from R. decussatus from those isolated from other clam species. Of the three techniques evaluated, PFGE was the most discriminating of the three techniques evaluated, followed in discriminating power by RAPD and RT tests. On the basis of the results obtained, we conclude that the RAPD procedure, which is more rapid and easier to perform than the other techniques, shows to be very useful to analyze large amounts of strain collections from an epidemiological monitoring stanpoint. In addition, PFGE is of great utility to evaluate the genetic diversity of strains involved in an outbreak and to study the spreading of a specific clone.

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