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Typing Neisseria meningitidis by analysis of restriction fragment length polymorphisms in the gene encoding the class 1 outer membrane protein: application to assessment of epidemics throughout the last 4 decades in China

, : Typing Neisseria meningitidis by analysis of restriction fragment length polymorphisms in the gene encoding the class 1 outer membrane protein: application to assessment of epidemics throughout the last 4 decades in China. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 33(2): 458-462

A typing method was developed for Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A by analysis of restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) of the class 1 outer membrane protein gene (porA). By using appropriate primers, an approximately 1,116-bp fragment of the porA gene was amplified by PCR and then was digested with the restriction endonuclease MspI. The digestion products were separated on 10% polyacrylamide gels and were stained with silver. One hundred three clinical isolates of group A N. meningitidis from 17 provinces of China collected over a 26-year period were analyzed. Results of MspI-generated RFLP profiles of PCR-amplified porA genes were compared with those obtained by conventional serosubtyping. There was a band of about 400 bp common to all strains examined, and the 103 strains of serogroup A resulted in 22 unique RFLP patterns. The differences in bands could be observed mainly in the range of 120 to 280 bp. The smaller fragments were useful in distinguishing meningococci with the same serosubtype. Three epidemic periods were characterized by the presence of three distinct genotypes (a1, a2, and a3), accounting for 74.5% of the strains examined (3.88, 26.21, and 44.66%, respectively). Three predominant RFLP patterns were correlated epidemiologically with cycles of epidemic meningococcal meningitis and were well-matched to the predominant serosubtypes (P1.9, P1.7, 10, and P1.9) that presented at the same prevalence cycles. The genotyping yielded information that allowed strains from one epidemic to be distinguished from those from another that would have been indistinguishable if only serotyping and serosubtyping were available. Therefore, the PCR-RFLP typing method was very useful in the epidemiologic investigation of group A meningococcal meningitis.


PMID: 7714207

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