A collection of 31 epidemiologically unrelated subsp. serovar Enteritidis ( Enteritidis) isolates obtained during a 12-year period was characterised by different molecular typing methods. Plasmid profile analysis, the detection of plasmid-encoded virulence genes and ribotyping allowed little or no further differentiation amongst these isolates. Two different hybridisation patterns were observed by IS-typing of the Enteritidis isolates. However, pulsed-field gel electrophoretic separation of restriction endonuclease-digested whole-cell DNA provided a high level of discrimination amongst the 31 Enteritidis isolates. This could be increased by the comparative use of the three suitable restriction endonucleases I, I and I. Thus, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis proved to be superior in its discriminatory value to other molecular methods such as plasmid analysis, ribotyping or IS-typing and represents a most helpful tool for the epidemiological typing of Enteritidis isolates.


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