The 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer (IGS) regions found in six species were characterized. PCR amplification of the 16S-23S IGS with a “generic primer” set generated products of about 340 bp (small) and 550 to 590 bp (large) with DNA from all strains tested. Seven serotype 4b strains and one serotype 4d strain also had an additional PCR product of ca. 360 bp. The 360-bp PCR product from one of these serotype 4b strains was identical in nucleotide sequence to the small 340-bp IGS, except that it contained an 18-bp tandem repeat. The small rRNA IGSs of , and were 83 to 99% homologous to that of . The large rRNA IGS of was 81 to 96% homologous to those of the other species and agreed with current taxonomic division among these species. The nucleotide sequences of the central 274 bp of the large rRNA IGS of strains from seven different serotypes were highly homologous; however, serotype-specific differences were noted, and four groups were identified within based on this analysis.


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