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J Clin Microbiol. 2004 Dec;42(12):5644-9.

Development of a multilocus sequence typing scheme for the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom.


A multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme has been developed for Pseudomonas aeruginosa which provides molecular typing data that are highly discriminatory and electronically portable between laboratories. MLST data confirm the data from previous studies that suggest that P. aeruginosa is best described as nonclonal but as having an epidemic population. The index of association was 0.17, indicating a freely recombining population; however, there was evidence of clusters of closely related strains or clonal complexes among the members of this population. It is apparent that the sequence types (STs) from single isolates, representing each of the present epidemic clones in the United Kingdom from Liverpool, Manchester, and the West Midlands, are not closely related to each other. This suggests distinct evolutionary origins for each of these epidemic clones in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, these clones are distinct from European clone C. Comparison of the results of MLST with those of toxA typing and serotyping revealed that strains with identical STs may possess different toxA types and diverse serotypes. Given that recombination is important in the population of P. aeruginosa, the lack of a linkage between toxA type and serotype is not surprising and reveals the strength of the MLST approach for obtaining a better understanding of the epidemiology of P. aeruginosa.

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