2010-01-30Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1007/s10096-009-0872-8
Variable genetic element typing: A quick method for epidemiological subtyping of Legionella pneumophila
A total of 57 isolates of Legionella pneumophila were randomly selected from the German National Legionella strain collection and typed by monoclonal antibody subgrouping, seven-gene locus sequence-based typing (SBT) scheme and a newly developed variable element typing (VET) system based on the presence or absence of ten variable genetic elements. These elements were detected while screening a genomic library of strain Corby, as well as being taken from published data for PAI-1 (pathogenicity island) from strain Philadelphia. Specific primers were designed and used in gel-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. PCR amplification of the mip gene served as a control. The end-point was the presence/absence of a PCR product on an ethidium bromide-strained gel. In the present study, the index of discrimination was somewhat lower than that of the SBT (0.87 versus 0.97). Nevertheless, the results obtained showed as a 'proof of principle' that this simple and quick typing assay might be useful for the epidemiological characterisation of L. pneumophila strains.
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