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Campylobacter strains in Sweden. Serotyping and correlation to clinical symptoms.


Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of diarrhoea in humans. Different typing systems have been put forward as aids to improved understanding of the epidemiology and clinical signs of the disease. In the present investigation we have adopted indirect haemagglutination for serotyping of heatstable (Penner) antigens and direct slideagglutination for heatlabile (Lior) antigens. All the strains from the patients (n = 277) seeking medical care for diarrhoea at the East Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden over 21 months were studied. With 19 antisera against heatstable antigens, 79.8% of the domestic strains were typable and 73.8% of the foreign strains. For the heatlabile antigens corresponding figures were 94.2% and 87.2%. There was a great variety of combinations of heatstable and heatlabile antigens on the strains. No marked relation between one antigen or antigen combination and clinical sign of disease was found. We conclude that serotyping is mainly useful for epidemiological studies. A limited number of antisera can be used for typing the majority of strains. If a choice is to be made, typing for heatlabile antigen seems simple and gives somewhat higher typability.

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