[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Listeria monocytogenes is the etiological agent of listeriosis, a severe food-borne illness. The population of L. monocytogenes is divided into four lineages (I to IV), and serotype 4b in lineage I has been involved in numerous outbreaks. Several serotype 4b epidemic-associated clonal groups (ECI, -II, and -Ia) have been identified. In this study, we characterized a panel of strains of serotype 4b that produced atypical results with a serotype-specific multiplex PCR and possessed the lmo0734 to lmo0739 gene cassette that had been thought to be specific to lineage II. The cassette was harbored in a genomically syntenic locus in these isolates and in lineage II strains. Three distinct clonal groups (groups 1 to 3) were identified among these isolates based on single-nucleotide polymorphism-based multilocus genotyping (MLGT) and DNA hybridization data. Groups 1 and 2 had MLGT haplotypes previously encountered among clinical isolates and were composed of clinical isolates from multiple states in the United States. In contrast, group 3 consisted of clinical and environmental isolates solely from North Carolina and exhibited a novel haplotype. In addition, all group 3 isolates had DNA that was resistant to MboI, suggesting methylation of adenines at GATC sites. Sequence analysis of the lmo0734 to lmo0739 gene cassette from two strains (group 1 and group 3) revealed that the genes were highly conserved (>99% identity). The data suggest relatively recent horizontal gene transfer from lineage II L. monocytogenes into L. monocytogenes serotype 4b and subsequent dissemination among at least three distinct clonal groups of L. monocytogenes serotype 4b, one of which exhibits restrictions in regional distribution.
Applied and environmental microbiology 12/2011; 78(3):660-7. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Listeria monocytogenes, like many other food-borne bacteria, has certain strains that are commonly linked to outbreaks. Due to the relatively low numbers of affected individuals, outbreaks of L. monocytogenes can be difficult to detect. The current technique of molecular subtyping in PulseNet laboratories to identify genetically similar strains is pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). While PFGE is state-of-the-art, interlaboratory comparisons are difficult because the results are highly susceptible to discrepancies due to even minor variations in experimental conditions and the subjectivity of band marking. This research was aimed at the development of a multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA) that can be implemented in PulseNet laboratories to replace or complement existing protocols. MLVA has proven to be a rapid and highly discriminatory tool for subtyping many bacteria. In this study, a novel MLVA method for L. monocytogenes strains was developed utilizing eight loci multiplexed into two PCRs. The PCR products were separated by capillary gel electrophoresis for high throughput and accurate sizing, and the fragment sizes were analyzed and clustered based on the number of repeats. When tested against a panel of 193 epidemiologically linked and nonlinked isolates, this MLVA for L. monocytogenes strains demonstrates strong epidemiological concordance. Since MLVA is a high-throughput screening method that is fairly inexpensive, easy to perform, rapid, and reliable, it is well suited to interlaboratory comparisons during epidemiological investigations of food-borne illness.
Journal of clinical microbiology 05/2008; 46(4):1435-50. · 4.16 Impact Factor