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Epidemiol Infect. 1994 Oct;113(2):221-34.

Flagellin gene polymorphism analysis of Campylobacter jejuni infecting man and other hosts and comparison with biotyping and somatic antigen serotyping.

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National Collection of Type Cultures, Central Public Health Laboratory, London.


Flagellin gene sequence polymorphisms were used to discriminate amongst 77 strains of Campylobacter jejuni from sporadic and outbreak-associated human enteric infections, and from chickens, sheep and calves. The results were assessed in relation to Lior biotyping and serotyping (Penner somatic antigens). Eight DNA PCR-RFLP patterns (genotypes) were identified by analysis of HinfI fragment length polymorphisms in flagellin gene (flaA) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products. One genotype (F-1) was a feature of 55% of strains. Strains within the genotypes were heterogeneous with respect to somatic antigens with 12 serogroups represented amongst the C. jejuni isolates of flaA type F-1. Serogroups Pen 1, 2 and 23 were the commonest (45%) amongst the 20 different serogroups represented. Several unique clusters of isolates with diverse biotypes were defined, and one cluster (F-7/Pen 23) contained epidemiologically implicated outbreak strains as well as sheep and calf isolates. We conclude that HinfI flaA typing is reproducible and offers high typability, and its combination with serogrouping provides a novel approach to characterizing isolates of C. jejuni with improved discrimination.

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