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Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC) as a tool for genetic characterisation of bacterial isolates in Nigeria

K. Otokunefor
C.J. Ogugbue
B.U. Fajoyomi


Genetic characterisation as a tool for identification of bacterial isolates in Nigeria has been on the increase in recent years, and the 16s rRNA typing has been a preferred method. Due to cost limitations, there is a need to explore other genetic options. Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis is a PCR- only based system which offers the advantage of reduced cost. This study set out to explore the use of ERIC-PCR in genetic characterisation of some selected bacterial isolates from Nigeria and compare it with genetic characterisation using 16s rRNA sequence typing. ERIC-PCR and 16s rRNA typing were carried out on 15 isolates following previously described protocols. Using 16s rRNA typing, thirteen different bacterial species were identified of which majority (85.7%) were Gram negative, with 57.1% belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae family. Using ERIC-PCR, only 13 of the 15 isolates (86.7%) could be typed, resulting in the identification of the 13 different types. ERIC-PCR was able to accurately differentiate between two members of the Proteus species, as well as identify the organisms as similar based on the banding pattern. The results show that ERIC-PCR may play a role as a bacterial identification tool but this role might be more suited to differentiating closely related members of a genus or typing within species rather than general bacterial identification.

Keywords: Genetic characterisation, 16s rRNA, ERIC-PCR, Nigeria

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print ISSN: 0189-1731