A new typing method for was developed. Four biotinylated lectins—wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), soy bean agglutinin (SBA), lentil agglutinin (LCA) and Concanavalin A (ConA)—were added to immobilised whole cells of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) in microtitration plates. The amount of bound lectin was measured by peroxidase-conjugated avidin followed by a peroxidase reaction. The method was compared to antibiotic-resistance analysis, phage typing, plasmid DNA profiles and slime production. A total of 113 isolates of CNS from 21 patients was investigated and 71 strains of CNS, including 64 strains of , were detected if all typing methods were taken into consideration. If only one typing method was used the highest discriminatory power among the isolates was obtained with the lectin-binding assay which allowed 49 different strains to be detected. If the lectin-binding assay was combined with plasmid-profile analysis, all 64 different strains could be identified. The typability of lectin-binding assay was 96·9% among the isolates and 25 different lectin-binding patterns were established among the 64 strains. The highest number of strains belonging to one lectin-binding pattern was 13 (20·3%). The assay was reproducible, easy to perform, relatively inexpensive and therefore applicable to large scale typing of .


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