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J Clin Microbiol. 1990 Jun;28(6):1236-43.

Computer-assisted methods for assessing strain relatedness in Candida albicans by fingerprinting with the moderately repetitive sequence Ca3.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242.


When used to probe EcoRI-digested Candida albicans DNA, the moderately repetitive sequence Ca3 generated a Southern blot hybridization pattern which included 15 to 25 bands, depending upon the strain. The pattern was stable through 400 generations in each of three independent strains but variable between most of 46 unrelated tester strains, making it a very effective probe for discrimination between strains. Computer-assisted methods (Dendron) were developed for storage of Ca3 patterns in data files, calculation of similarity (SAB) values between strains based upon band positions and intensities, and generation of histograms and dendrograms based on SAB values for all strains or any subset of strains in large epidemiological studies. In testing the effectiveness of the system, it was found that (i) multiple isolates from different body locations of the same healthy individual could represent either the same strain or different strains, (ii) isolates from oral lesions of a husband and wife represented the same strain, (iii) strains isolated from the mouths of 10 healthy individuals on the same day and in the same geographical location were as dissimilar on average as the 46 unrelated tester strains, and (iv) strains isolated from seven immunocompromised patients hospitalized over a 2.5-month period in the same hospital were highly similar, indicating nosocomial origin. The apparent effectiveness of these fingerprinting methods and the Dendron program suggests that interlaboratory procedures for fingerprinting should be standardized and all patterns should be analyzed and stored in a common and accessible data base for broad epidemiological analysis.

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