0%), emm4 (23.2%), emm1 (16.3%), SmaI-resistant emm12* (10.3%), emm6 (3.8%) and emm22 (2.9%). Each emm clone had predominant PFGE genotype(s), and most minor genotypes within an emm clone emerged and quickly disappeared. The large fluctuation in the number of scarlet fever cases during this time period can be attributed to the shuffling of several prevalent emm clones and to a SARS outbreak in 2003. Methods Epidemiological data and bacterial strains Scarlet fever was a notifiable disease in Taiwan until 2007; hospitals and clinics were obligated to AZD1152 mw report confirmed or suspected cases to the county public health department via a web-based Notifiable Diseases Reporting System established by the Taiwan
CDC in 2000. The hospitals and clinics that reported scarlet fever cases were asked to provide throat swab specimens or S. pyogenes isolates Compound C manufacturer to the regional laboratories of the Taiwan CDC for bacterial examination and genotyping. Confirmed cases were those in which S. pyogenes was isolated from the specimens. The number of annual confirmed cases detected through the Notifiable Diseases Reporting System was adjusted by multiplying
the number of reported cases and the rate of positive specimens. S. pyogenes isolates used for characterization in this study were obtained directly from hospitals located in central Taiwan through the Notifiable Diseases Reporting System or were recovered from throat swab specimens collected from hospitals and clinics through the Notifiable Diseases Reporting System and the Sentinel Physician Active Reporting System. emm typing The procedure developed by Beall and colleagues  was used to prepare the emm DNA fragments from S. pyogenes
isolates for sequencing. The amplified DNA amplicons and primer 1, 5′-TATT(C/G)GCTTAGAAAATTAA-3′, were sent to a local biotech company (Mission Biotech Corp. Taipei, Taiwan) for DNA sequencing. The 5′ emm sequences (at least the first 240 bases) were subjected to a BLAST comparison with those in the emm www.selleckchem.com/products/Trichostatin-A.html database (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/biotech/strep/strepindex.htm; accessed on April 20th, 2009) to determine emm type. PFGE analysis S. pyogenes isolates were subjected to PFGE analysis using a previously described protocol . Cyclin-dependent kinase 3 All of the isolates were analyzed by SmaI digestion. Isolates with DNA resistant to SmaI digestion were analyzed with SgrAI. PFGE patterns were recorded using a Kodak digital camera system (Kodak Electrophoresis Documentation and Analysis System 290; Kodak; Rochester, NY, USA) with 1792 × 1200 pixels. The digital PFGE images were then analyzed using BioNumerics software version 4.5 (Applied Maths, Kortrijik, Belgium) and the DNA pattern for each isolate was compared using the computer software. A unique PFGE pattern (genotype) was defined if it contained one or more DNA bands different from the others.