The flagellin gene sequence from a clinical isolate of was used to design oligonucleotide primers for PCR/RFLP analysis of flagellin gene variation among clinical and environmental isolates of Genes from four clinical and six environmental isolates were amplified and compared by RFLP. The clinical isolates were indistinguishable, but variation was detected among some of the environmental isolates. Sequence analysis of flagellin gene amplified products demonstrated high levels of conservation amongst the flagellin genes of clinical isolates (>99% similarity), compared to the variation observed between the clinical isolates and one of the environmental isolates (<90% similarity). Genomic comparisons with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) revealed differences between the relationships inferred by flagellin genotyping and PFGE, suggesting that a combination of molecular methods may be useful for the subtyping of strains.


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