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To investigate the coagulase gene polymorphism of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from mastitic goat's milk.A typing procedure based on coagulase gene polymorphism was used to discriminate S. aureus isolated from goat mastitis. Thirty-six strains collected from goats belonging to herds from northern Ceara State and Serrana region of Rio de Janeiro State were analysed. Based on restriction fragment length polymorphism of 3′ end coagulase gene, the goat strains were grouped into 11 types. In northern Ceara herds, the predominant type was found in 60% of the strains, while in the Serrana region herds the two most common accounting for 62·5% of the strains.The analysis of the coa gene proved to be useful for typing S. aureus from goat mastitis. Although the results showed that goats from the studied regions were infected by S. aureus strains harbouring more than one coagulase genotype, only one or two types predominated.The identification of the prevalent strains within a herd or region is a necessity. The important virulence factors could be identified in such strains and this information can then be used as a specific base to develop S. aureus mastitis control measures.