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Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1992 Jul;42(3):446-50.

Differentiation of the subspecies of Campylobacter fetus by genomic sizing.

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  • 1Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus and C. fetus subsp. venerealis are currently differentiated by tolerance to glycine and by their epidemiology. Analysis of C. fetus DNA by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, after digestion with the restriction endonucleases SmaI and SalI, was used to differentiate between the subspecies. All strains presently identified as C. fetus subsp. fetus had a genomic size of 1.1 Mb, whereas the majority of the C. fetus subsp. venerealis strains had a genomic size of 1.3 Mb. An additional group of strains, which were previously described as C. fetus subsp. venerealis biovar "intermedius" and were able to tolerate higher concentrations of glycine than the rest of the C. fetus subsp. venerealis strains, had an average genome size of 1.5 Mb. We suggest that pulsed-field gel electrophoresis may be useful as an additional aid in the differentiation of C. fetus strains at the subspecies level.

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