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J Clin Microbiol. 2001 Oct;39(10):3481-5.

Development of a Canadian standardized protocol for subtyping methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.

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National Microbiology Laboratory, Health Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


A panel of 24 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains was distributed to 15 laboratories in Canada to evaluate their in-house pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) protocols and interpretation criteria. Attempts to compare fingerprint images using computer-aided analysis were not successful due to variability in individual laboratory PFGE protocols. In addition, individual site interpretation of the fingerprint patterns was inadequate, as 7 of 13 sites (54%) made at least one error in interpreting the fingerprints from the panel. A 2-day standardized PFGE protocol (culture to gel image) was developed and distributed to all of the sites. Each site was requested to use the standardized protocol on five strains from the original panel. Thirteen sites submitted gel images for comparisons. The protocol demonstrated excellent reproducibility and allowed interlaboratory comparisons with Molecular Analyst DST software (Bio-Rad) and 1.5% band tolerance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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