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Keywords:

  • Campylobacter jejuni;
  • Restriction fragment length polymorphism;
  • Heat-stable serotyping;
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome;
  • Flagellin

Abstract A molecular typing approach for Campylobacter jejuni was applied with restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of a 702-bp PCR-amplified portion of the flagellin-A (flaA) gene. We analyzed a total of 179 strains, including 69 independent clinical isolates from diarrheic patients in Japan, 85 isolates in China, and 25 heat-stable (HS) serotype strains by Penner and Hennessy ((1980) J. Clin. Microbiol. 12, 732–737). Six AfaI, seven MboI, and five HaeIII RFLPs were found in the 702-bp flaA segment from the 179 strains. Using a combination of these three enzymes, 25 separate RFLP groups were recognized. While 59 of 154 (38.3%) strains obtained in Japan and China were nontypeable by the HS antigenic scheme, all but two of 154 (98.7%) could be typed by RFLP typing. All 11 isolates of HS-19 strains, which are frequently isolated from Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) patients, showed an identical RFLP pattern (Cj-1), and Cj-1 consisted only of HS-19 strains. This suggests that the HS-19:Cj-l strain is distinct among C. jejuni strains. This molecular typing method provides a rapid and reliable typing scheme for epidemiological studies of C. jejuni, and may also be useful for the analysis of C. jejuni subtypes from GBS patients.