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J Med Microbiol. 1992 Sep;37(3):162-4.

DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism differentiates recurrence from relapse in treatment failures of Streptococcus pyogenes pharyngitis.

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Laboratoire de Bactériologie, Hôpital Robert Debré, Paris, France.


In the evaluation of treatment failure in Streptococcus pyogenes pharyngitis it is necessary to distinguish between persistence of the original streptococcus and acquisition of a new strain. We used the analysis of restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of total DNA and of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) regions (ribotypes) as epidemiological tools to compare 43 pre- and post-treatment S. pyogenes strains obtained from 20 patients. In 16 cases pre- and post-treatment strains gave indistinguishable RFLP patterns of total DNA, strongly suggesting relapse with the same strain. However, in four cases different patterns were obtained for the pre- and post-treatment isolates, indicating recurrence due to the acquisition of a new strain. Ribotyping did not improve discrimination among strains. Thus, analysis of DNA RFLP is a promising method for distinguishing recurrence from relapse in failures of pharyngitis treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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