I macrorestriction digests from whole chromosome DNA preparations of 46 isolates of from vaginal (20 isolates), blood (23 isolates) and soil (three isolates) sources were examined by CHEF-MAPPER pulsed-field electrophoresis. The isolates were grouped into nine macrorestriction endonuclease fingerprint (MEF) classes according to the number or size of the macrorestriction fragments, or both. The electrophoretic karyotype (EK) was also examined and found to contain 18 karyotypic classes (named A-R). A comparison between I MEF and EK demonstrated that the former correlated much better than the latter with the source of isolates. Five I classes (I–V) contained only vaginal isolates (or vaginal and three soil isolates, class I), and the blood isolates were distributed between four classes (VI-IX). This relationship was less evident with the EK classes as several of these were composed of both vaginal and blood isolates (B, G, L and M). The three soil isolates were in class A which also included one vaginal isolate. We conclude that I macrorestriction endonuclease patterns seem to be useful in discriminating among isolates, with apparent association with source of isolation.


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