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J Appl Microbiol. 2002;92(1):47-54.

Validation of a polymerase chain reaction/restriction enzyme analysis method for species identification of thermophilic campylobacters isolated from domestic and wild animals.

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1
National Veterinary Institute, SE-751 89 Uppsala, Sweden. Eva.Olsson@sva.se

Abstract

AIMS:

To compare and evaluate a polymerase chain reaction/restriction enzyme analysis (PCR/REA) method with standard phenotypic tests for the identification and differentiation of the thermophilic campylobacters Campylobacter jejuni, C. coli, C. lari and C. upsaliensis.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

One hundred and eighty-two presumptive thermophilic campylobacters from 12 different animal species were tested by a recently published PCR/REA and standard phenotypic tests. By PCR/REA, 95% of the isolates were clearly identified as either one of the four thermophilic Campylobacter species or as not belonging to this group of organisms at all. By standard phenotyping, 174 of the 182 isolates were initially identified as either C. jejuni, C. coli, C. lari or C. upsaliensis. Additional genotypic tests and phenotyping showed that 52 of these identifications were either incorrect or unreliable. Of the C. jejuni isolates, 19% were identified as C. coli by initial phenotyping and 27 sheep isolates phenotyped as C. coli or C. lari were, in fact, arcobacters.

CONCLUSIONS:

The PCR/REA was more reliable than standard phenotyping for the identification of thermophilic campylobacters from different animals.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

Routinely used phenotypic tests often resulted in unreliable identifications, requiring additional testing. The PCR/REA, however, gave unequivocal results and was considered useful for the routine identification of thermophilic campylobacters from different animals.

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