Comparison of traditional and molecular methods for typing nontoxigenic strains ofCorynebacterium diphtheriae

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Thirty-eight nontoxigenic strains of Corynebacterium diphtheriae isolated between 1987 and 1992 from clinical specimens of French patients were typed by biotyping, antibiograms, bacteriophage typing, ribotyping, and restriction analysis by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Excellent correlation occurred between the genotypes defined by PFGE Sfil profiles or by ribotype BstEll profiles. Genotyping revealed seven genotype patterns among the 26 biotype mitis isolates, five among the nine biotype gravis isolates, and three among the three biotype belfanti isolates. Phage typing was nonreactive for nine of the 38 isolates. A combination of all the typing methods led to the identification of 19 different types of Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

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