Single-nucleotide-polymorphism genotyping of Coxiella burnetii during a Q fever outbreak in The Netherlands.
ABSTRACT Coxiella burnetii is the etiological agent of Q fever. Currently, the Netherlands is facing the largest Q fever epidemic ever, with almost 4,000 notified human cases. Although the presence of a hypervirulent strain is hypothesized, epidemiological evidence, such as the animal reservoir(s) and genotype of the C. burnetii strain(s) involved, is still lacking. We developed a single-nucleotide-polymorphism (SNP) genotyping assay directly applicable to clinical samples. Ten discriminatory SNPs were carefully selected and detected by real-time PCR. SNP genotyping appeared to be highly suitable for discrimination of C. burnetii strains and easy to perform with clinical samples. With this new method, we show that the Dutch outbreak is caused by at least 5 different C. burnetii genotypes. SNP typing of 14 human samples from the outbreak revealed the presence of 3 dissimilar genotypes. Two genotypes were also present in livestock at 9 farms in the outbreak area. SNP analyses of bulk milk from 5 other farms, commercial cow milk, and cow colostrum revealed 2 additional genotypes that were not detected in humans. SNP genotyping data from clinical samples clearly demonstrate that at least 5 different C. burnetii genotypes are involved in the Dutch outbreak.
Article: Molecular method for the characterization of Coxiella burnetii from clinical and environmental samples: variability of genotypes in Spain.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Coxiella burnetii is a highly clonal microorganism which is difficult to culture, requiring BSL3 conditions for its propagation. This leads to a scarce availability of isolates worldwide. On the other hand, published methods of characterization have delineated up to 8 different genomic groups and 36 genotypes. However, all these methodologies, with the exception of one that exhibited limited discriminatory power (3 genotypes), rely on performing between 10 and 20 PCR amplifications or sequencing long fragments of DNA, which make their direct application to clinical samples impracticable and leads to a scarce accessibility of data on the circulation of C. burnetii genotypes. To assess the variability of this organism in Spain, we have developed a novel method that consists of a multiplex (8 targets) PCR and hybridization with specific probes that reproduce the previous classification of this organism into 8 genomic groups, and up to 16 genotypes. It allows for a direct characterization from clinical and environmental samples in a single run, which will help in the study of the different genotypes circulating in wild and domestic cycles as well as from sporadic human cases and outbreaks. The method has been validated with reference isolates. A high variability of C. burnetii has been found in Spain among 90 samples tested, detecting 10 different genotypes, being those adaA negative associated with acute Q fever cases presenting as fever of intermediate duration with liver involvement and with chronic cases. Genotypes infecting humans are also found in sheep, goats, rats, wild boar and ticks, and the only genotype found in cattle has never been found among our clinical samples. This newly developed methodology has permitted to demonstrate that C. burnetii is highly variable in Spain. With the data presented here, cattle seem not to participate in the transmission of C. burnetii to humans in the samples studied, while sheep, goats, wild boar, rats and ticks share genotypes with the human population.BMC Microbiology 06/2012; 12:91. · 3.04 Impact Factor