Summary: Thirty-six ruminant isolates of , previously classified as invasive or non-invasive in a mouse model of virulence, were compared by analysing I restriction patterns of the major outer-membrane protein (MOMP) gene after DNA amplification by the polymerase chain reaction. The 24 invasive isolates, although from various origins, all belonged to serotype 1 and represented a strictly homogeneous group sharing a specific MOMP-gene restriction pattern that was not observed in the non-invasive strains. On the other hand, the 12 non-invasive strains, although all belonging to serotype 2, constituted a heterogeneous group with eight distinct MOMP-gene restriction patterns. However, all eight patterns shared a 180 bp fragment or the corresponding restricted fragments of 110 and 70 bp. MOMP-gene restriction patterns also clearly distinguished the ruminant strains from an avian isolate, a isolate and two isolates which were studied for comparison. The homogeneous character of the invasive strains argues strongly for their genetic relatedness. Our results illustrate the usefulness of the MOMP-gene restriction mapping in typing chlamydiae.


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