Table 1.

Advantages and disadvantages of various genotyping methods and serotyping for subtyping campylobacters

MethodDiscriminatory poweraTypeability (%)bReproducibilitycSensitivity to genetic instabilityTime requiredCostAvailability
flatypingReasonable100GoodYes<1 dayLowGood
PFGEGood100GoodYes3–4 daysAverageLimited
RibotypingPoor100GoodYes3–4 daysAverageComplex method
Automated ribotypingGood NAVd GoodNAV8 hHighLimited
RAPDAverage∼80LowYes<1 dayLowGood
AFLPGood100GoodNo2–3 daysAverageComplex method
SequencingVery good100GoodNAe 2–3 daysAverageLimited
SerotypingAverage∼80Goodf NA<1 dayLowLimited
  • a The discriminatory power of a method is its ability to differentiate between genetically unrelated strains.

  • b Typeability is 100% if all strains tested are typed by a given method.

  • c The reproducibility of a method is determined by its ability to identify duplicate samples. This is irrespective of external factors, such as genetic instability.

  • d NAV, not available.

  • e NA, not applicable.

  • f Weak serological cross-reactions can complicate interpretation of data. Multiple passages may be required to fully express antigens.