Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Lab Med. 2012 Jan;32(1):50-6. doi: 10.3343/alm.2012.32.1.50. Epub 2011 Dec 20.

Comparison of modified multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat fingerprinting with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis for typing clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus.

Author information

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.



Multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat fingerprinting (MLVF) is based on multiplex PCR, utilizing variable number tandem repeat. Our goal was to compare the performance of MLVF in distinguishing clinical Staphylococcus aureus isolates with that of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), which has traditionally been the gold standard.


Sixty-three clinically significant S. aureus isolates were tested using both PFGE and MLVF. Multiplex PCR for MLVF was performed using PCR primers for clfA, clfB, sdrCDE, sspA, and spa. PFGE was performed with genomic DNA fragments generated by SmaI endonuclease digestion. Banding patterns of MLVF or PFGE were analyzed using InfoQuestFP software.


The hands-on time of our modified method was about 3 h, on average, for each of 18 isolates. PFGE (80% cutoff) or MLVF (75% cutoff) separated all of the 63 isolates into 13 and 12 types, respectively. Three types generated by PFGE were identical to those generated by MLVF. PFGE and MLVF yielded similar Simpson's diversity indices, indicating similar discriminatory power. The overall concordance between PFGE and MLVF was low, as represented by adjusted Rand indices (0.266-0.278). PFGE predicted MLVF type better than MLVF predicted PFGE type, as reflected by Wallace coefficients (PFGE cutoff 80% vs. MLVF cutoff 75%, 0.389 vs. 0.233). Analysis of the relationship between a pair of isolates showed 91.0% concordance between the PFGE (80% cutoff) and MLVF (75% cutoff).


Our simple, low-cost, modified MLVF protocol can effectively discriminate between S. aureus clinical isolates. MLVF can replace PFGE for the hospital infection control of S. aureus.


Multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat fingerprinting; Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis; Staphylococcus aureus

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for The Korean Society for Laboratory Medicine Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk