Denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) is a recently developed technique for rapid screening of nucleotide polymorphisms in PCR products. We used this technique for the identification of type A, B, E, and F botulinum neurotoxin genes. PCR products amplified from a conserved region of the type A, B, E, and F botulinum toxin genes from Clostridium botulinum, neurotoxigenic C. butyricum type E, and C. baratii type F strains were subjected to both DHPLC analysis and sequencing. Unique DHPLC peak profiles were obtained with each different type of botulinum toxin gene fragment, consistent with nucleotide differences observed in the related sequences. We then evaluated the ability of this technique to identify botulinal neurotoxigenic organisms at the genus and species level. A specific short region of the 16S rRNA gene which contains genus-specific and in some cases species-specific heterogeneity was amplified from botulinum neurotoxigenic clostridia and from different food-borne pathogens and subjected to DHPLC analysis. Different peak profiles were obtained for each genus and species, demonstrating that the technique could be a reliable alternative to sequencing for the rapid identification of food-borne pathogens, specifically of botulinal neurotoxigenic clostridia most frequently implicated in human botulism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)