OBJECTIVE To evaluate a hypervariable octameric oligonucleotide fingerprints (HOOF-Prints) assay for identification of and discrimination between wild-type and vaccine strains of Brucella melitensis.
SAMPLEBrucella melitensis vaccine strain M5 and wild-type strain M43.
PROCEDURES 8 pairs of primers (alterable, octameric nucleotides) were designed on the basis of a biological analysis of 8 flanking sequences in the DNA of B melitensis. The HOOF-Prints technique was used to identify wild-type and vaccine strains of B melitensis. Phylogenetic analysis of short, polymorphic fragments of DNA from B melitensis strains M5 and M43 was performed.
RESULTS Variable-number tandem repeat DNA segments of B melitensis vaccine strain M5 and wild-type strain M43 were successfully amplified by means of PCR assay. All target gene fragments ranged in size from 100 to 300 bp. Separate phylogenetic analysis of each Brucella strain revealed considerable differences between the vaccine and wild-type strains.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The results of this study suggested the HOOF-Prints assay may be useful for discriminating vaccine strains of B melitensis from wild-type strains. This ability could allow discrimination between animals that are seropositive because of vaccination against B melitensis and those that are seropositive because of B melitensis infection and could decrease the likelihood of importing Brucella-infected animals.