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J Appl Microbiol. 2002;92(3):502-9.

Phenotypic diversity of Campylobacter isolates from sporadic cases of human enteritis in the UK.

Author information

1
Public Health Laboratory, Royal Preston Hospital, PO Box 202, Preston PR2 9HG, UK. dwareing@nw.phls.nhs.uk

Abstract

AIMS:

The aim of this study was to identify and subtype a large collection of isolates of Campylobacter spp. to quantify diversity among strains causing human disease from geographically diverse sources in the United Kingdom.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Isolates were characterized by the Penner serotyping scheme, Preston phage typing and biotyping methods. The diversity index calculated from the combined results of all three methods was 0.997 and indicated that isolates from sporadic cases of infection are very diverse. Strong associations between common phagetypes (PG52, PG121 and PG55) and the three most common serotypes (HS1, HS2 and HS4) found in the study were evident.

CONCLUSIONS:

Strains of C. jejuni causing human infections in the United Kingdom are very phenotypically diverse. Individual strains characterized by serotype, phagetype and biotype were detected throughout the 7-month study period and from geographically distinct sources, indicating an unrecognized outbreak or other epidemiologically significant source of human infection.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

The low frequency incidence of most C. jejuni strains should enable easy recognition of outbreaks by strain type surveillance at local, regional and national level in the United Kingdom. The characterization of common strain profiles in this study by simple phenotypic methods could provide the basis for strain specific epidemiological studies for reservoirs of infection and transmission routes for human infection.

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