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Mol Diagn Ther. 2013 Aug;17(4):257-64. doi: 10.1007/s40291-013-0034-7.

Diversity of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi strains collected from india using variable number tandem repeat (VNTR)-PCR analysis.

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Sri Sakthi Amma Institute of Biomedical Research, Sri Narayani Hospital and Research Centre, Sripuram, Vellore 632 055, Tamil Nadu, India.



Typhoid fever is endemic in India, and a seasonal increase of cases is observed annually. In spite of effective therapies and the availability of vaccines, morbidity is widespread owing to the circulation of multiple genetic variants, frequent migration of asymptomatic carriers, unhygienic food practices and the emergence of multidrug resistance and thus continues to be a major public health problem in developing countries, particularly in India. Classical methods of strain typing such as pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, ribotyping, random amplification of polymorphic DNA and amplified fragment length polymorphism are either laborious and technically complicated or less discriminatory.


We investigated the molecular diversity of Indian strains of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) isolated from humans from different parts of India to establish the molecular epidemiology of the organism using the variable number tandem repeat (VNTR)-PCR analysis. The electrophoretic band pattern was analysed using the GelCompar II software program.


Of the 94 strains tested for three VNTRs loci, 75 VNTR genotypes were obtained. Of the three VNTRs tested in this study, VNTR1 was amplified in all the strains except one and found to be predominant. VNTR2 was amplified only in 57 strains with a Simpson diversity index of 0.93 indicating the high variability of this region within the strains. VNTR3 was amplified in 90 strains. The discriminatory power of this typing tool has been greatly enhanced by this VNTR2 region as the other two regions could not discriminate strains significantly. In our study, about 55 % of the strains amplified all three VNTR regions and 39 % of the strains lacked the VNTR2 region. Among the three VNTR regions tested, the majority of the strains produced similar banding pattern for any two regions grouped into a cluster. The strains grouped as a genotype were from the same geographical location. Strains collected from each geographical region were also highly heterogeneous.


Such analysis is important to identify the genetic clones of the pathogen associated with sporadic infections and disease outbreak to identify the common source and implement public health measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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