Thirty-six isolates, from man or swine, of subsp. producing (n = 13) or not producing (n = 23) the dermonecrotic toxin (DNT) were studied by numerical analysis, capsular typing and ribotyping. Toxigenic strains were also characterised by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the A gene and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Numerical analysis differentiated the species and subspecies, but did not discriminate between toxigenic and non-toxigenic strains. RFLP demonstrated that A was located in a conserved part of the chromosome of all toxigenic strains. Ribotyping provided evidence of a close association between DNT production and one of the six RI ribotypes designated as E2. In contrast, PFGE provided evidence for significant DNA polymorphism amongst the toxigenic strains. Results of phenotypic and genotypic studies suggested that toxigenic strains do not form a clone within the subspecies No difference was found between toxigenic strains of porcine or human origin by biochemical characterisation, capsular serotyping or genomic typing methods.


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