Campylobacter jejuni serogroup reference strains and collections of sporadic and outbreak- associated isolates were examined for restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs), using C. jejuni random chromosomal and 16S rRNA gene probes. A collection of 48 Penner (HS) and 14 Lior (HL) serogroup reference strains, plus 10 clinical isolates, generated 35 RFLP and 26 ribotype patterns. In combination the two loci generated 48 distinct genotypes. Both probes were able to differentiate between certain random isolates of the same HS/HL serogroups but greater discrimination was obtained with RFLP than with ribotyping. Genotyping distinguished accurately between related and unrelated strains when applied to several outbreaks. Genotypic analysis of C. jejuni by restriction fragment length polymorphisms is a valuable technique for epidemiological typing. Chromosomal variation detected by the two unlinked probe loci provides some information about the genetic relationship between isolates.
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