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J Clin Microbiol. 2004 Jun;42(6):2480-8.

Multilocus sequence typing is a reliable alternative method to DNA fingerprinting for discriminating among strains of Candida albicans.

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  • 1Public Health Research Institute, International Center for Public Health, 225 Warren St., Newark, NJ 07103, USA.


Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) has emerged as a powerful new DNA-typing tool for the evaluation of intraspecies genetic relatedness. This method relies on DNA sequence analysis of nucleotide polymorphisms in housekeeping genes and has shown a high degree of intraspecies discriminatory power for bacterial and fungal pathogens. However, the results of the MLST scheme for Candida albicans have heretofore never been formally compared to those of other established typing techniques. To assess the value of MLST relative to those of other DNA fingerprinting tools for discriminating among strains of C. albicans, we applied it to a previously well-characterized set of 29 C. albicans isolates evaluated by the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MLEE), and Ca3 Southern hybridization probe techniques. MLST identified three clusters of genetically related isolates, with 82.3% direct concordance with MLEE, 82.7% with RAPD analysis, and 86.2% with the Ca3 Southern hybridization technique. When MLST was applied to a subset of 22 isolates of unrelated origins, it identified 21 independent diploid sequence types (DSTs), resulting in a discriminatory power of 99.6%. These DSTs were 96.9, 99.6, and 99.6% concordant with the genotypes identified by RAPD analysis, MLEE, and Ca3 Southern hybridization, respectively. These results demonstrate that MLST is a highly effective technique that performs at least comparably to other established DNA fingerprinting techniques.

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