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1.  Genetic characterization of trh positive Vibrio spp. isolated from Norway 
The thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH) and/or TDH-related hemolysin (TRH) genes are carried by most virulent Vibrio parahaemolyticus serovars. In Norway, trh+ V. parahaemolyticus constitute 4.4 and 4.5% of the total number of V. parahaemolyticus isolated from blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) and water, respectively. The trh gene is located in a region close to the gene cluster for urease production (ure). This region was characterized in V. parahaemolyticus strain TH3996 and it was found that a nickel transport operon (nik) was located between the first gene (ureR) and the rest of the ure cluster genes. The organization of the trh-ureR-nik-ure gene cluster in the Norwegian trh+ isolates was unknown. In this study, we explore the gene organization within the trh-ureR-nik-ure cluster for these isolates. PCR analyses revealed that the genes within the trh-ureR-nik-ure gene cluster of Norwegian trh+ isolates were organized in a similar fashion as reported previously for TH33996. Additionally, the phylogenetic relationship among these trh+ isolates was investigated using Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST). Analysis by MLST or ureR-trh sequences generated two different phylogenetic trees for the same strains analyzed, suggesting that ureR-trh genes have been acquired at different times in Norwegian V. parahaemolyticus isolates. MLST results revealed that some pathogenic and non-pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus isolates in Norway appear to be highly genetically related.
PMCID: PMC3872308  PMID: 24400227
tdh; trh; V. parahaemolyticus; V. alginolyticus; MLST; urease; Vibrio; PCR
2.  Genotyping of B. licheniformis based on a novel multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) scheme 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:230.
Bacillus licheniformis has for many years been used in the industrial production of enzymes, antibiotics and detergents. However, as a producer of dormant heat-resistant endospores B. licheniformis might contaminate semi-preserved foods. The aim of this study was to establish a robust and novel genotyping scheme for B. licheniformis in order to reveal the evolutionary history of 53 strains of this species. Furthermore, the genotyping scheme was also investigated for its use to detect food-contaminating strains.
A multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) scheme, based on the sequence of six house-keeping genes (adk, ccpA, recF, rpoB, spo0A and sucC) of 53 B. licheniformis strains from different sources was established. The result of the MLST analysis supported previous findings of two different subgroups (lineages) within this species, named “A” and “B” Statistical analysis of the MLST data indicated a higher rate of recombination within group “A”. Food isolates were widely dispersed in the MLST tree and could not be distinguished from the other strains. However, the food contaminating strain B. licheniformis NVH1032, represented by a unique sequence type (ST8), was distantly related to all other strains.
In this study, a novel and robust genotyping scheme for B. licheniformis was established, separating the species into two subgroups. This scheme could be used for further studies of evolution and population genetics in B. licheniformis.
PMCID: PMC3492095  PMID: 23051848
3.  Clostridium botulinum Group I Strain Genotyping by 15-Locus Multilocus Variable-Number Tandem-Repeat Analysis ▿ †  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(12):4252-4263.
Clostridium botulinum is a taxonomic designation that encompasses a broad variety of spore-forming, Gram-positive bacteria producing the botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT). C. botulinum is the etiologic agent of botulism, a rare but severe neuroparalytic disease. Fine-resolution genetic characterization of C. botulinum isolates of any BoNT type is relevant for both epidemiological studies and forensic microbiology. A 10-locus multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA) was previously applied to isolates of C. botulinum type A. The present study includes five additional loci designed to better address proteolytic B and F serotypes. We investigated 79 C. botulinum group I strains isolated from human and food samples in several European countries, including types A (28), B (36), AB (4), and F (11) strains, and 5 nontoxic Clostridium sporogenes. Additional data were deduced from in silico analysis of 10 available fully sequenced genomes. This 15-locus MLVA (MLVA-15) scheme identified 86 distinct genotypes that clustered consistently with the results of amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and MLVA genotyping in previous reports. An MLVA-7 scheme, a subset of the MLVA-15, performed on a lab-on-a-chip device using a nonfluorescent subset of primers, is also proposed as a first-line assay. The phylogenetic grouping obtained with the MLVA-7 does not differ significantly from that generated by the MLVA-15. To our knowledge, this report is the first to analyze genetic variability among all of the C. botulinum group I serotypes by MLVA. Our data provide new insights into the genetic variability of group I C. botulinum isolates worldwide and demonstrate that this group is genetically highly diverse.
PMCID: PMC3232984  PMID: 22012011
4.  Detection of Vibrio cholerae by Real-Time Nucleic Acid Sequence-Based Amplification▿  
A multitarget molecular beacon-based real-time nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA) assay for the specific detection of Vibrio cholerae has been developed. The genes encoding the cholera toxin (ctxA), the toxin-coregulated pilus (tcpA; colonization factor), the ctxA toxin regulator (toxR), hemolysin (hlyA), and the 60-kDa chaperonin product (groEL) were selected as target sequences for detection. The beacons for the five different genetic targets were evaluated by serial dilution of RNA from V. cholerae cells. RNase treatment of the nucleic acids eliminated all NASBA, whereas DNase treatment had no effect, showing that RNA and not DNA was amplified. The specificity of the assay was investigated by testing several isolates of V. cholerae, other Vibrio species, and Bacillus cereus, Salmonella enterica, and Escherichia coli strains. The toxR, groEL, and hlyA beacons identified all V. cholerae isolates, whereas the ctxA and tcpA beacons identified the O1 toxigenic clinical isolates. The NASBA assay detected V. cholerae at 50 CFU/ml by using the general marker groEL and tcpA that specifically indicates toxigenic strains. A correlation between cell viability and NASBA was demonstrated for the ctxA, toxR, and hlyA targets. RNA isolated from different environmental water samples spiked with V. cholerae was specifically detected by NASBA. These results indicate that NASBA can be used in the rapid detection of V. cholerae from various environmental water samples. This method has a strong potential for detecting toxigenic strains by using the tcpA and ctxA markers. The entire assay including RNA extraction and NASBA was completed within 3 h.
PMCID: PMC1828771  PMID: 17220262

Results 1-4 (4)