A collection of 223 strains of non-typable was assembled. Most strains were isolated from hospital in-patients in North East Scotland between 1984 and 1989. These isolates were examined by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) of whole cell polypeptides. Variability was assessed in terms of apparent molecular weight differences between the protein profiles. Isolates were grouped on the basis of Dice coefficients of similarity and assigned to clones. Of the 223 strains, 147 were unique; the remaining strains were assigned to multi-member clones of which 13 clones had two members, one clone had three members, three clones had four members, three clones had five members, two clones had six members and one clone had eight members. The longest time interval between isolation of clonally related strains virtually equalled the limits of the study. Isolates from a childrens' hospital were significantly less diverse than those from patients in adult wards.


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