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Res Microbiol. 2002 Mar;153(2):99-106.

Study of Corynebacterium diphtheriae strains isolated in Romania, northwestern Russia and the Republic of Moldova.

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Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory, Cantacuzino Institute, Bucharest, Romania.


A selection of 167 Corynebacterium diphtheriae strains isolated in Romania, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Moldova were analysed by biotyping, phage typing, the toxin production test and by molecular techniques such as ribotyping, pulsed field gel electrophoresis and random amplified polymorphic DNA, in order to establish the epidemiological relatedness, genetic divergence and strain circulation within and between the bordering countries. Using a set of five digoxigenin-labeled oligonucleotides and BstEII digestion, 34 ribotypes were identified. The strains isolated in the epidemic areas (Russia and Moldova) were very closely related but different from those isolated in Romania. C1 and C5 were the main ribotypes identified in these areas. Neither ribotype was found in Romania, where the main circulating types were C3 and C7. Field inversion gel electrophoresis was more discriminative than ribotyping and revealed 54 macrorestriction profiles after SfiI restriction. Both methods showed a significant homogeneity of the strains from epidemic areas and a large diversity among the Romanian strains. Random amplification was useful as an identification method for the epidemic strains, but not for the Romanian ones which displayed a large number of amplification profiles. The phenotypic methods associated with molecular typing techniques enabled distinguishing between strains, detecting the epidemic clone, and sustaining the absence of transmission across borders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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