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J Clin Microbiol. Oct 1995; 33(10): 2576–2581.
PMCID: PMC228531

Characterization of Streptococcus agalactiae strains by multilocus enzyme genotype and serotype: identification of multiple virulent clone families that cause invasive neonatal disease.

Abstract

The chromosomal genotypes of 277 isolates of 16 serotypes of Streptococcus agalactiae were characterized by analysis of electrophoretically demonstrable allele profiles at 12 metabolic enzyme loci. The collection comprised the type strain and 276 strains recovered from French symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects. Sixty-one distinctive electrophoretic types (ETs), representing multilocus clonal genotypes, were identified. Cluster analysis of the ETs revealed two primary phylogenetic divisions separated by a genetic distance of 0.62, Division I contained 67 isolates which could be assigned to 13 ETs. Twenty-seven of these isolates were from samples of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from neonatal meningitis patients. Two ETs, separated by a genetic distance of 0.217, contained 26 of these 27 isolates. Division II contained 210 isolates, of which 27 were isolated from CSF. This division was more polymorphic and included 48 ETs. Spanning a genetic distance of 0.3, three clusters and one ET were identified within this group. Twenty-four of 27 strains isolated from CSF belonged to one cluster, and 19 of them belonged to two adjacent ETs with a genetic distance of 0.083. Fifty-five of the 68 serotype Ia strains and 24 of the 26 serotype Ib strains were each confined to one of the evolutionary lineages, and 85 of the 86 strains which carried protein antigen c belonged to phylogenetic division II. Most of the type III organisms were assigned to two clone families. The characteristics of this French population argue for the existence of particular groups of strains responsible for neonatal meningitis and demonstrate that serotyping can supply information about the genetic distribution of strains.

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Selected References

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