Dos Santos O, De Resende MCC, De Mello AL, Frazzon APG, D'Azevedo PA. The use of whole-cell protein profile analysis by SDS-PAGE as an accurate tool to identify species and subspecies of coagulase-negative staphylococci.
We used sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) as a tool to characterize coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS). Of 253 clinical isolates and 10 control strains, five species and four subspecies were analyzed. All the isolates were identified using conventional phenotypic tests and SDS-PAGE. Discrepant results between these methods, as well as less common species and subspecies, were confirmed by sodA and 16S rDNA gene sequencing. Intraspecies similarities, calculated by the Dice coefficient, were significantly higher when compared to interspecies similarities. The conventional method failed to identify eight (3.2%) molecularly defined and SDS-PAGE-determined isolates. Therefore, SDS-PAGE was able to discriminate between all unidentified or misidentified isolates using a phenotypic method. In addition, SDS-PAGE identified all atypical isolates using biochemistry and CoNS at the subspecies level.