A total of 120 isolates from blood, cerebrospinal fluid, sputum and throat swabs of patients and carriers in North India was characterised by biotyping, ribotyping and random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR. Of these, 77 isolates (64%) were serotype b; the other 43 (36%) were non-typable. Biotype I was the most predominant among the typable strains and biotype II among the non-typable strains. Ribotyping with restriction endonucleases III and RI differentiated the isolates into three and six ribotypes, respectively. However, RAPD fingerprints generated by the application of arbitrary primers AP1 and AP2 provided a higher level of discrimination. RAPD typing revealed distinct polymorphism among the serologically typable isolates. This study is the first report that stratifies the subtypes of strains from India by molecular techniques.


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