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Res Microbiol. 1997 Dec;148(9):777-84.

PCR-amplified 16S and 23S rDNA restriction analysis for the identification of Acinetobacter strains at the DNA group level.

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Department of Microbiology, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid.


The genus Acinetobacter is phenotypically rather homogeneous, but genotypically heterogeneous. In this study, a simple method based on restriction analysis of a PCR-amplified large fragment (4.5 kb) of most of the ribosomal operon (16S and 23S ribosomal genes and the spacer in-between) was investigated. Sixty-seven collection strains belonging to the 20 DNA groups proposed until 1993 were studied. Using the enzyme Sau3AI, 25 DNA profiles were obtained. Strains belonging to DNA groups 1, 3, 6, TU13 and TU15 showed two profiles each, and DNA groups 4, 5 and 7 showed profiles with variants showing less intensive additional bands. The remaining 12 groups showed 12 different profiles. The profiles obtained were DNA-group-specific except for one profile which was shared between the unnamed DNA group 3 and a rarely encountered genotypically related DNA group. These two DNA groups could be separated by using the enzyme Hinf1. Twenty-five additional clinical isolates previously characterized by standard DNA-DNA hybridization were selected in a double-blind fashion for identification at the DNA group level to check the reliability of the assay. All strains were correctly identified at the DNA group level. PCR-amplified 16S and 23S rDNA restriction analysis is both an accurate and rapid method for the identification of Acinetobacter at the DNA group level.

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