A series of 2092 cultures of Salmonella typhimurium isolated from human, animal and other sources in 57 countries were differentiated into 204 phage types and 19 primary and 147 full biotypes. Different biotypes belonged to the same phage type and different phage types to the same biotype, so the combination of typing methods differentiated strains more finely than either method alone: 574 different ‘phage type/biotypes’ were distinguished in 1937 cultures belonging to the 204 recognized phage types.
The combination of biotyping with phage-typing was valuable in studying the phylogeny and spread of epidemic strains by distinguishing clones of different biotype within the same phage type and by confirming the relationship between cultures isolated from widely dispersed clones and that between cultures isolated before and after a clone had undergone variation in phage type, biotype, colicin type or antibiotic-sensitivity pattern.
A widespread outbreak of infection with S. typhimurium phage type 141 in Scotland comprised independent dissemination of three clones of different biotypes, if, 9f and 31bd. During its epidemic spread in cattle in Britain between 1962 and 1969, another strain underwent variations in phage type (type 44 to type 29), biotype (type 26a to types 26d, 26bd, 26dgi, 26dz and 26i) and antibiotic sensitivity. A group of 275 non-fimbriate, non-inositol-fermenting and non-rhamnose fermenting (FIRN) strains, particularly associated with avian infections and thought to be clonal in origin, contained 27 phage types and 22 full biotypes in the primary biotypes 29–32.