Corrected identity of isolates of Helicobacter pylori reference strain NCTC11637

Natalia S. Akopyants, Qin Jiang, Diane E. Taylor, Douglas E. Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background. The reference strains NCTC11637 and NCTC11638 were among the very first Helicobacters ever cultured and have been distributed through national reference culture collections to researchers throughout the world. Because H. pylori is an extremely diverse species, such reference strains are invaluable as universal standards, provided that they are identified correctly. Materials and Methods. H. pylori strains (previously called "NCTC11637") from three different sources and NCTC11638 were fingerprinted by the arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (also known as random amplified polymorphic DNA, or RAPD) method and further were characterized by NotI digestion and pulsed field gel electrophoresis of total genomic DNA (Notl-PFGE) and by restriction of PCR-amplified ureCD and flaA gene segments. Results. RAPD tests of two "NCTC11637" strains from different sources (CCUG17874, UA1178) indicated that they were closely related or identical to NCTC11638. Given the diversity of H. pylori strains and the high sensitivity of the RAPD method, close matches in RAPD patterns from independent clinical isolates are not expected. In contrast, the version of "NCTC11637" from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC 43504) did not match NCTC11638 in RAPD fingerprint. Concordant results were obtained by NotI-PFGE and by restriction of PCR amplified gene segments. Conclusions. Two unrelated versions of the reference (type) H. pylori strain NCTC11637 are in general circulation and are distinguished easily by DNA fingerprinting. One matches another reference strain, NCTC11638, whereas the other is distinct from it, as expected of independent clinical isolates. Knowing which "NCTC11637" reference strain one has could be important, especially because H. pylori strains probably are diverse in phenotypic traits that are important for colonization or disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-52
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


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