A method for high-resolution genomic fingerprinting of the enteric pathogens Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli, based on the determination of amplified fragment length polymorphism, is described. The potential of this method for molecular epidemiological studies of these species is evaluated with 50 type, reference, and well-characterised field strains. Amplified fragment length polymorphism fingerprints comprised over 60 bands detected in the size range 35-500 bp. Groups of outbreak strains, replicate subcultures, and 'genetically identical' strains from humans, poultry and cattle, proved indistinguishable by amplified fragment length polymorphism fingerprinting, but were differentiated fi-om unrelated isolates. Previously unknown relationships between three hippurate-negative C. jejuni strains, and two C. coil var, hyoilei strains, were identified. These relationships corresponded to available epidemiological data. We conclude that this amplified fragment length polymorphism fingerprinting method may be a highly effective tool for molecular epidemiological studies of Campylobacter spp.
- genomic fingerprinting
- molecular epidemiology
- amplified fragment length polymorphism