Author(s): Huang TT, Malke H, Ferretti JJ
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Abstract A molecular epidemiological study was conducted to determine the distribution of the streptokinase gene in group A streptococcal strains of different M types and in other streptococcal species. Plasmid pNC1, containing only the internal coding sequence of the streptokinase gene from group C streptococcal strain H46A, was used as a DNA probe in colony and Southern hybridization experiments. Only the pathogenic group A, C, and G streptococci contained a streptokinase gene; 12 other Lancefield group strains did not. A total of 134 group A strains, including 61 M types and 6 T types, were tested. Although only 62\% (83 of 134) of the strains tested showed positive streptokinase activity by the casein-plasminogen overlay assay, all strains contained the streptokinase gene as evidenced by strong hybridization with the pNC1 probe. Southern blot DNA hybridizations were carried out with 101 strains of group A streptococci. The restriction enzymes HindIII and HaeIII were used to digest the genomic DNA. Six hybridization patterns were observed after HindIII digestion. Double hybridization bands appeared in all of the patterns, which indicated the existence of a highly conserved HindIII site. More complex hybridization results were obtained after HaeIII digestion. Twelve hybridization patterns were observed; three were characterized by a single hybridization band, and nine were characterized by double bands. Variations in hybridization patterns were observed in strains of both the same and different serotypes. The overall results at the gene level indicate that there is considerable heterogeneity among the streptokinases of group A streptococci, consistent with previous findings of immunological and chemical differences among streptokinases of group A streptococci.
This article was published in Infect Immun
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques