Seventy-three clinical isolates of “” were screened for the presence of plasmids. Plasmid bands were found in 68 (93%) isolates, from which 14 plasmid types were identified. Type 5 was found only in blood-culture isolates, whereas types 7–14 were found only in faecal isolates. Plasmid-free isolates and the other plasmid profiles were present in both faecal and blood isolates. The reproducibility of these profiles was largely dependent on the method of plasmid isolation. The chloroform-phenol lysis method was the most efficient and reliable method of preparing plasmid DNA for plasmid profile analysis. The success of this method may be largely attributable to two factors: (1) the efficacy of cell lysis was independent of either an alkaline agent or of heat; (2) the inactivation of nucleases by the utilisation of chloroform-phenol to lyse the cells. Furthermore, this method of plasmid DNA preparation is ideally suited for use on clinical isolates, especially when rapid plasmid profile analysis may be required.


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