The usefulness of random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis with Ready-To-Go® RAPD beads was investigated for the rapid differentiation of isolates from Eastern Europe and neighbouring countries. A selection of 45 isolates of known origin, biotype, toxigenicity status and ribotype were examined by RAPD. Twenty RAPD profiles (designated Rp1-Rp20) were revealed among the 45 isolates. There was 100% correlation between RAPD profiles and ribotypes. Preliminary studies showed that the use of crude DNA preparations resulted in poor amplification and the patterns were not reproducible. Different thermal cycler models produced different RAPD profiles from the same DNA sample. Reproducibility of the technique was good when the same thermal cycler was used throughout. RAPD proved to be a simple and a rapid method for analysing and it is a method which can be used as a potential alternative to ribotyping or as a screening technique during outbreak investigations.


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