Synthetic DNA probes for detection of genes for enterotoxins A, B, C, D, E and for TSST-1 in staphylococcal strains


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B. JAULHAC, M. BES, N. BORNSTEIN, Y. PIÉMONTY. BRUN AND J. FLEURETTE. 1992. A dot blot hybridization technique with oligonucleotide probes was developed for the specific detection of the TSST-1 gene and the staphylococcal enterotoxin (SE) genes A, B, C, D and E. For each toxin gene a probe sequence was chosen from the previously determined sequence. A total of 145 staphylococcal strains (133 Staphylococcus aureus and 12 coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS)) were studied by this genotypic method and by two phenotypic assays (gel immunodiffusion and ELISA). An excellent correlation (96%) was observed between the genotypic and phenotypic assays. DNA from two CNS strains hybridized with a probe without detection of the corresponding toxin (SEB for one strain and SEC for the other strain). One Staph. aureus strain was shown to be an SEC producer, but was not detected by the corresponding probe. Gene probe and immunological assays seem to be complementary methods for studies of staphylococcal strains producing (or potentially producing) TSST-1 or enterotoxins.