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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1998 Jul 1;64(7):2418-23.

Differentiation of Lactobacillus Species by Molecular Typing.

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  • 1Lawson Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.


A total of 64 type, reference, clinical, health food, and stock isolates of microaerophilic Lactobacillus species were examined by restriction fragment length polymorphisms. Of particular interest were members of six of the eight species most commonly recovered from the vaginas of healthy premenopausal women, namely, Lactobacillus jensenii, L. casei, L. rhamnosus, L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, and L. fermentum. Six main groupings were identified on the basis of ribotyping. This technique was able to classify fresh isolates to the species level. In the case of the ribotype A grouping for L. rhamnosus, differences between strains were evident by chromosome typing (chromotyping). Many isolates did not possess plasmids. Six L. rhamnosus strains isolated from four different health food products appeared to be identical to L. rhamnosus ATCC 21052. The molecular typing system is useful for identifying and differentiating Lactobacillus isolates. Studies of strains of potential importance to the urogenital flora should include molecular characterization as a means of comparing genetic traits with those of strains whose characteristics associated with colonization and antagonism against pathogens have been defined.

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