A method based upon the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detecting genes encoding the Fc receptors of and streptococci is described. Primers were designed from the nucleotide sequences of the five Fc receptor genes encoding protein A, protein G, protein H, FcRA and protein V. Amplification products corresponding in size to the protein A and protein G genes were detected in strain Cowan 1 and strain G148, respectively, as expected. strain AR1 was shown to possess the type H receptor gene. Two clinical isolates of , strains IP-28 and ES-2IL, were shown to possess genes for Fc receptor types FcRA and protein G, respectively. The identification of all these products was confirmed by restriction endonuclease analysis. Amplification of protein H genes from two other clinical isolates of streptococci, MS-4 and MS-38, yielded a product larger than expected and with a different restriction fragment pattern to strain AR1, indicating a new type of Fc receptor gene. This PCR method provides a DNA-based method for the determination of Fc receptor type in and streptococci.


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