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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Sep;77(18):6674-9. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00767-11. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

Nucleotide polymorphism-based single-tube test for robust molecular identification of all currently described Brucella species.

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Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre, Department of Bacterial Diseases, Brussels, Belgium.


Among the numerous molecular methods described during the last 20 years to identify Brucella, multiplexed amplification methods offer the cheapest and simplest technical solution for molecular identification. However, one disadvantage of such methods is their need to undergo technical revalidation each time a new marker is added to the system. Moreover, polymorphic markers cannot be assessed at the single-nucleotide level in these assays. Since new Brucella species are continuously being described, open methodologies able to accommodate new markers while preserving all other system parameters have an obvious advantage. We present a ligase chain reaction (LCR)-based method that simultaneously assesses multiple genetic markers at the single-nucleotide level. Most of the selected markers originate from a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) database that has been extensively validated on hundreds of different Brucella strains. When assayed on both reference and field strains, the method yields characteristic capillary electrophoresis profiles for each of the 10 Brucella species described to date and displays discriminatory potential below the species level for some. Since the LCR methodology is insensitive to interference resulting from the use of multiple oligonucleotides in a single mixture, the way is open for smooth future updates of the proposed system. Such updates are inevitable, given the pending description of new Brucella species.

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