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J Clin Microbiol. 1993 Jul;31(7):1927-31.

Whole-cell repetitive element sequence-based polymerase chain reaction allows rapid assessment of clonal relationships of bacterial isolates.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.


Repetitive element sequence-based polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR) enables the generation of DNA fingerprints which discriminate bacterial species and strains. We describe the application of whole-cell methods which allow specimens from broth cultures or colonies from agar plates to be utilized directly in the PCR mixture. The rep-PCR-generated DNA fingerprints obtained with whole-cell samples match results obtained with genomic DNA templates. Examples with different gram-negative bacteria (e.g., Citrobacter diversus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and gram-positive bacteria (e.g., Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae) are demonstrated. Rapid specimen preparation methods enable rep-PCR-based fingerprinting to be completed in several hours and, therefore, allows the timely analysis of epidemiological relationships.

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