Typing of gonococcal strains is a valuable tool for the biological confirmation of sexual contacts. We have developed a typing method based on DNA sequencing of two overlapping por gene fragments generated by a heminested PCR. We compared sequencing of the por gene (POR sequencing) and typing of the opa gene (OPA typing) for the characterization of strains from 17 sexual partnerships. Both methods were highly discriminatory. A different genotype was detected in 15 of the 17 epidemiologically unconnected couples by POR sequencing and in 16 of the 17 couples by OPA typing with restriction enzyme HpaII. Within partnerships, identical genotypes were obtained from 16 of the 17 known sex contacts by POR sequencing and from 15 of the 17 by OPA typing. Compared to OPA typing, which relies on interpretation of bands in a gel, DNA sequence data offer the advantage of being objective and portable. As costs for sequencing decline, the method should become affordable for most laboratory personnel who wish to type gonococcal strains.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)