We compared the robustness and discriminatory power of the enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC) and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting methods for detecting cases of mixed Helicobacter pylori infection in Peruvian shantytown residents. H. pylori isolates from 63 participants were cultured, and five single colonies and a pool of additional colonies from each participant were analyzed by ERIC-PCR and by RAPD tests with four 10-nucleotide primers (one primer per reaction). There was 94% agreement between the ERIC and RAPD profiles in classifying sets of isolates as uniform versus closely related but not identical versus probably unrelated, indicating a high kappa statistic of 0.8942. Subtle differences in related ERIC or RAPD patterns likely reflect gene transfer between strains, recombination, and/or mutation, whereas markedly different patterns reflect infection by unrelated strains. At least half of infected shantytown residents seemed to carry more than one H. pylori strain, although in 19 of 31 persons, the strains were closely related. Three RAPD tests, each with a different primer, were needed to achieve the sensitivity of one ERIC test. ERIC-PCR constitutes a resource- and time-efficient method for H. pylori strain differentiation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology