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Epidemiol Infect. 1994 Feb;112(1):177-86.

Genomic fingerprints of Staphylococcus aureus of bovine origin by polymerase chain reaction-based DNA fingerprinting.

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United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Knoxville, Tennessee.


Staphylococcus aureus (n = 75) isolated from mammary secretions of cows with subclinical and clinical mastitis from several geographic locations in the USA were examined using polymerase chain reaction-based DNA fingerprinting. DNA fingerprints were produced using a synthetic oligonucleotide primer (5'GTAACGCC3') to produce a distinct spectrum of amplified DNA fragments facilitating a high degree of resolution for differentiating S. aureus strains. PCR-based DNA fingerprinting grouped the 75 S. aureus isolates into 19 distinct profiles. The technique differentiated closely related strains within and between geographic locations. Findings suggest that certain types are found across geographic regions suggesting a common clonal type. Within herd data suggest heterogeneity among subclinical and clinical isolates of S. aureus strains. Compared to existing typing methods, PCR-based DNA fingerprinting is easy to perform and interpret. Use of PCR-based DNA fingerprinting may allow for a more detailed investigation of the epidemiology of S. aureus mastitis in dairy cows.

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