Since has emerged as one of the most common pathogens, DNA probes have been developed which fulfil the requirements for effective fingerprinting. Using a screen for complex genomic fragments containing moderately repetitive sequences, seven DNA probes were cloned which generate complex Southern blot hybridization patterns with -digested DNA. All of the probes are species-specific and the majority cross-hybridize to varying degrees. The capacity of two of the probes, Cg6 and Cg12, to measure genetic distance between independent isolates is verified by comparing clustering in dendrograms based on similarity coefficients computed between all pairs of 39 independent isolates fingerprinted with Cg6, Cg12 and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA. The capacity of the probes Cg6 and Cg12 to assess microevolution in clonal populations of infecting over time is also demonstrated. These probes can now be used in large computer-assisted epidemiological studies.


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