In this study the assessment of randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis was established as a molecular epidemiological tool. RAPD analysis was performed to differentiate faecal Escherichia coli isolates from human and animal sources. E. coli strains (128) were isolated from human and animal faeces (from cattle and sheep). Genomic DNA was extracted and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA-PCR (RAPD-PCR) fingerprinting was performed. Seven arbitrary primers were tested with a view to discriminating between E. coli isolates from humans and E. coli isolates from animals. RAPD profiles were analysed with hierarchical cluster analysis using an unweighted pair group method. RAPD profiles obtained with three of the tested primers (1247, 1290 and 1254) established a distinct differentiation between E. coli isolates from humans and E. coli from animals. Low levels of misclassification and high levels of specificity make RAPD a sensitive, efficient and reliable means of distinguishing closely related strains.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.