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The detection of hipO gene by real-time PCR in thermophilic Campylobacter spp. with very weak and negative reaction of hippurate hydrolysis

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A total of 190 Campylobacter spp. isolates, of which 34 gave the result of very weak activity, and 156 gave the negative activity in the test for hippurate hydrolysis were characterized. The genomic DNA was isolated from a fresh culture of each isolate and the real-time PCR, targeting the hipO gene, was used to confirm the species distribution of Campylobacter isolates. The hipO gene was detected in 17 isolates (11%) within the total of 156 negative isolates for hippurate hydrolysis. Out of 34 isolates with very weak activity, 19 isolates (56%) were also found to be positive for hipO gene and characterized as C. jejuni. The real-time PCR assay used in this study could be employed for more accurate diagnosis of Campylobacter infections at species level after the biochemical characterization based on hippuricase activity of the isolates. This could also provide important data for the epidemiology of infections associated with these zoonotic pathogens.

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The authors wish to acknowledge to Can Akar for technical assistance. This study was supported by grant 104T242 from The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, TUBITAK.

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Correspondence to Vildan Caner.

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Caner, V., Cokal, Y., Cetin, C. et al. The detection of hipO gene by real-time PCR in thermophilic Campylobacter spp. with very weak and negative reaction of hippurate hydrolysis. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 94, 527–532 (2008).

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