Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis, a variation of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in which a single primer is used, was evaluated for use as a simple and reliable method with which to type spp. Representatives of six species of were studied. Five isolates of and four isolates of were all distinguishable from one another, but the four isolates of tested, although distinguishable from other spp., were not differentiated. Among serovars 1/2a (eight isolates), 1/2b (eight isolates) and 4b (10 isolates), at least six, three and six RAPD patterns were observed, respectively. Fourteen neonatal cross-infection sets of isolates, shown to be indistinguishable by serotyping and phage typing, were examined with three different primers. With one primer, three of the sets were shown to consist of closely related, but distinguishable, strains. In the other 11 cases, each set of strains was indistinguishable with all three primers. These preliminary data indicate that RAPD analysis has promise as a method for typing spp.


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