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J Appl Microbiol. 1999 Oct;87(4):602-10.

Genetic diversity in Helicobacter pullorum from human and poultry sources identified by an amplified fragment length polymorphism technique and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.

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Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens, Central Public Health Laboratory, London, UK.


Helicobacter pullorum was first isolated from the faeces and carcasses of poultry and has been associated with human gastroenteritis. The aim of this study was to examine interstrain genetic diversity within H. pullorum. Two fingerprinting techniques were used: amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and pulsed field gel electrophoretic (PFGE) analysis. The 20 strains examined were from four countries and comprised 13 human isolates and seven poultry isolates. Their identity was confirmed by a species-specific PCR assay. The human and poultry isolates had distinct genotypes and most strains showed a high degree of genetic diversity. Genotyping also indicated a clonal origin for two strains from the same poultry flock, and established a close relatedness between three chicken carcass isolates from a processing plant. It is concluded that these two genotyping techniques will provide a useful basis for future epidemiological investigations of H. pullorum in poultry, and may provide a link with its possible causal role in human gastrointestinal infections.

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