The intra- and interlaboratory variabilities of the molecular size measurements of each DNA fragment contributing to three pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profiles were assessed, as were the reproducibilities of the entire PFGE profiles for three Bordetella pertussis strains. The major source of variability within a laboratory occurred between subcultures rather than within gels or between gels. Each PFGE profile was generated reproducibly and was objectively defined by the molecular sizes of its composite fragments. A strain or profile most suitable for use as an internal reference standard was identified
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