Summary: Macrorestriction fragment profile analysis by PFGE was used to distinguish intestinal spirochaetes, some of which were isolated from cases of swine dysentery and intestinal spirochaetosis in humans, pigs, mice, chickens and dogs. Macrorestriction fragment profiles using and restriction enzymes were produced and used in statistical analysis. This permitted the division of the isolates into two major clusters. One cluster contained isolates which were identified as and the second cluster contained isolates identified as by immunoblotting with species-specific mAbs. Both species contained sub-specific groups, although these rarely correlated with the source of the isolates. We conclude that PFGE is capable of sub-specific differentiation of intestinal spirochaetes, but that the current species contain a large variety of genotypes among which cross-species transmission may be feasible.


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