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J Microbiol Methods. 2007 Apr;69(1):23-36. Epub 2007 Jan 8.

MLST-v, multilocus sequence typing based on virulence genes, for molecular typing of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovars.

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ARC Seibersdorf Research GmbH, Department of Bioresources, Seibersdorf, Austria.


Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica is one of the main causative agents of food-borne disease in man, and can also be the cause of serious systemic illness. Organisms belonging to this genus have traditionally been classified on the basis of the antigenic properties of the cell-surface lipopolysaccharide and of the phase 1 and phase 2 flagellar proteins. Primary isolation, biochemical identification, and serotyping are laborious and time consuming. Molecular identification based on suitable marker genes could be an attractive alternative to conventional bacteriological and serological methods. We have assessed the applicability of two housekeeping genes, gyrB, atpD, in combination with the flagellin genes fliC and fljB in multilocus sequence typing of Salmonella. Sequencing and comparative analysis of sequence data was performed on multiple strains from Austria, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland, representing all subspecies and 22 of the more prevalent non-typhoid S. enterica subsp. enterica serovars. A combination of these four marker genes allowed for a clear differentiation of all the strains analysed, indicating their applicability in molecular typing. The term MLST-v, for multilocus sequence typing based on virulence genes, is proposed to distinguish this approach from MLST based solely on housekeeping genes. An assortative recombination of the fliC gene was found in seven of the analysed serovars indicating multiple phylogenetic origin of these serovars.

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