Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Analysis of the flaA Gene of Campylobacter Jejuni for Subtyping Human, Animal and Poultry Isolates

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1999 Jul 15;176(2):345-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.1999.tb13682.x.


233 strains of Campylobacter jejuni were subtyped by PCR-RFLP analysis of the flagellin (flaA) gene by double digestion with EcoRI and PstI (EP flaA-profiling). The strains represented a variety of common Penner heat stable (HS) serotypes and comprised isolates of human, bovine, ovine, chicken and canine origin. FlaA amplicons were obtained directly from DNA in cell lysates of most strains. RFLP analysis showed considerable allelic variation and nine EP flaA-types were identified of which the most common were type 2 (32%), type 3 (20%), type 4 (12%) and type 6 (12%). Other flaA-profiles each represented less than 10% of strains. C. jejuni strains of each serotype generally had one or two specifically associated flaA-types although some were features of several serotypes. Strains with the same flaA-type were found in different hosts. EP flaA-profiles were reproducible, clear and simple to record, and laboratory protocols were rapid and low cost with high throughput capacity. The EP flaA-profiling scheme provided an excellent molecular subtyping method to supplement HS serotyping, and reference strains are recommended to facilitate its use in future epidemiological investigations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Campylobacter jejuni / classification*
  • Campylobacter jejuni / genetics
  • Cattle
  • Chickens
  • Dogs
  • Flagellin / genetics*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length*
  • Serotyping
  • Sheep


  • Flagellin
  • flaA protein, bacteria