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Hyytia-Trees E.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Lafon P.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Vauterin P.,Applied Maths | Ribot E.M.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Foodborne Pathogens and Disease | Year: 2010

The PulseNet USA subtyping network recently established a standardized protocol for multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) to characterize Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157. To enable data comparisons from different laboratories in the same database, reproducibility and high quality of the data must be ensured. The aim of this study was to test the robustness and reproducibility of the proposed standardized protocol by subjecting it to a multilaboratory validation process and to address any discrepancies that may have arisen from the study. A set of 50 strains was tested in 10 PulseNet participating laboratories that used capillary electrophoresis instruments from two manufacturers. Six out of the 10 laboratories were able to generate correct MLVA types for 46 (92%) or more strains. The discrepancies in MLVA type assignment were caused mainly by difficulties in optimizing polymerase chain reactions that were attributed to technical inexperience of the staff and suboptimal quality of reagents and instrumentation. It was concluded that proper training of staff must be an integral part of technology transfer. The interlaboratory reproducibility of fragment sizing was excellent when the same capillary electrophoresis platform was used. However, sizing discrepancies of up to six base pairs for the same fragment were detected between the two platforms. These discrepancies were attributed to different dye and polymer chemistries employed by the manufacturers. A novel software script was developed to assign alleles based on two platform-specific (Beckman Coulter CEQ™8000 and Applied Biosystems Genetic Analyzer 3130xl) look-up tables containing fragment size ranges for all alleles. The new allele assignment method was validated at the PulseNet central laboratory using a diverse set of 502 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 isolates. The validation confirmed that the script reliably assigned the same allele for the same fragment regardless of the platform used to size the fragment. © Copyright 2010, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Arias C.R.,Auburn University | Olivares-Fuster O.,Auburn University | Goris J.,Applied Maths
International Microbiology | Year: 2010

Heterogeneity among ribosomal operons in Vibrio vulnificus is purported as a probabilistic indicator of strain virulence and classifies V. vulnificus strains as 16S rRNA genes type A and B. In this study, 16S rRNA genes typing of V. vulnificus strains isolated from the Valencia city coast, in the western Mediterranean, showed that 24 out of 30 isolates were type A, one was type B and five could not be typed. Single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis of this gene region revealed complex patterns indicative of intragenomic ribosomal operon sequence heterogeneity. The 16S rRNA genes of three untypeable isolates C27, C30, and C34, along with type A (ATCC 27562) and B (C7184) reference strains, were amplified, cloned and sequenced. The number of unique 16S rRNA gene sequences was 4, 3, and 4 for the environmental isolates. The type strain of the species (ATCC 27562) presented only two 16S rRNA gene types, while the reference isolate C7184 of clinical origin had only one 16S rRNA gene type. Sequences differed from five to 35 bp (99.6% to 97.6% sequence similarity). Areas of variability concentrated in helices 10, 18, and 37 and included variants with short intervening sequences in helix 10. Most of the substitutions showed compensatory mutations suggesting ancient sequence divergence generated by lateral gene transfer.

Cools P.,Ghent University | Ho E.,University of Antwerp | Vranckx K.,Applied Maths | Schelstraete P.,Ghent University | And 8 more authors.
BMC Microbiology | Year: 2016

Background: Achromobacter xylosoxidans is increasingly being recognized as an emerging pathogen in cystic fibrosis. Recent severe infections with A. xylosoxidans in some of our cystic fibrosis (CF) patients led to a re-evaluation of the epidemiology of CF-associated A. xylosoxidans infections in two Belgian reference centres (Antwerp and Ghent). Several of these patients also stayed at the Rehabilitation Centre De Haan (RHC). In total, 59 A. xylosoxidans isolates from 31 patients (including 26 CF patients), collected between 2001 and 2014, were studied. We evaluated Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation -Time of Flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF) as an alternative for McRAPD typing. Results: Both typing approaches established the presence of a major cluster, comprising isolates, all from 21 CF patients, including from two patients sampled when staying at the RHC a decade ago. This major cluster was the same as the cluster established already a decade ago at the RHC. A minor cluster consisted of 13 isolates from miscellaneous origin. A further seven isolates, including one from a non-CF patient who had stayed recently at the RHC, were singletons. Conclusions: Typing results of both methods were similar, indicating transmission of a single clone of A. xylosoxidans among several CF patients from at least two reference centres. Isolates of the same clone were already observed at the RHC, a decade ago. It is difficult to establish to what extent the RHC is the source of transmission, because the epidemic strain was already present when the first epidemiological study in the RHC was carried out. This study also documents the applicability of MALDI-TOF for typing of strains within the species A. xylosoxidans and the need to use the dynamic cutoff algorithm of the BioNumerics® software for correct clustering of the fingerprints. © 2016 The Author(s).

De Vos D.,Laboratory for Molecular and Cellular Technology | Pirnay J.-P.,Laboratory for Molecular and Cellular Technology | Bilocq F.,Laboratory for Molecular and Cellular Technology | Jennes S.,Burn Wound Center | And 18 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii and its closely related species A. pittii and A. nosocomialis, all members of the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus-baumannii (Acb) complex, are a major cause of hospital acquired infection. In the burn wound center of the Queen Astrid military hospital in Brussels, 48 patients were colonized or infected with Acb complex over a 52-month period. We report the molecular epidemiology of these organisms, their clinical impact and infection control measures taken. A representative set of 157 Acb complex isolates was analyzed using repetitive sequence-based PCR (rep-PCR) (DiversiLab) and a multiplex PCR targeting OXA-51-like and OXA-23-like genes. We identified 31 rep-PCR genotypes (strains). Representatives of each rep-type were identified to species by rpoB sequence analysis: 13 types to A. baumannii, 10toA. pittii, and 3 to A. nosocomialis. It was assumed that isolates that belonged to the same rep-type also belonged to the same species. Thus, 83.4% of all isolates were identified to A. baumannii, 9.6% to A. pittii and 4.5% to A. nosocomialis. We observed 12 extensively drug resistant Acb strains (10 A. baumannii and 2 A. nosocomialis), all carbapenem-non-susceptible/colistin-susceptible and imported into the burn wound center through patients injured in North Africa. The two most prevalent rep-types 12 and 13 harbored an OXA-23-like gene. Multilocus sequence typing allocated them to clonal complex 1 corresponding to EU (international) clone I. Both strains caused consecutive outbreaks, interspersed with periods of apparent eradication. Patients infected with carbapenem resistant A. baumannii were successfully treated with colistin/ rifampicin. Extensive infection control measures were required to eradicate the organisms.Acinetobacter infection and colonization was not associated with increased attributable mortality. © 2016 De Vos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Bosch T.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Verkade E.,Laboratory for Microbiology and Infection Control | Verkade E.,Laboratory for Medical Microbiology and Immunology | van Luit M.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

After its emergence in 2003, a livestock-associated (LA-)MRSA clade (CC398) has caused an impressive increase in the number of isolates submitted for the Dutch national MRSA surveillance and now comprises 40% of all isolates. The currently used molecular typing techniques have limited discriminatory power for this MRSA clade, which hampers studies on the origin and transmission routes. Recently, a new molecular analysis technique named whole genome mapping was introduced. This method creates high-resolution, ordered whole genome restriction maps that may have potential for strain typing. In this study, we assessed and validated the capability of whole genome mapping to differentiate LA-MRSA isolates. Multiple validation experiments showed that whole genome mapping produced highly reproducible results. Assessment of the technique on two well-documented MRSA outbreaks showed that whole genome mapping was able to confirm one outbreak, but revealed major differences between the maps of a second, indicating that not all isolates belonged to this outbreak. Whole genome mapping of LA-MRSA isolates that were epidemiologically unlinked provided a much higher discriminatory power than spa-typing or MLVA. In contrast, maps created from LA-MRSA isolates obtained during a proven LA-MRSA outbreak were nearly indistinguishable showing that transmission of LA-MRSA can be detected by whole genome mapping. Finally, whole genome maps of LA-MRSA isolates originating from two unrelated veterinarians and their household members showed that veterinarians may carry and transmit different LA-MRSA strains at the same time. No such conclusions could be drawn based spa-typing and MLVA. Although PFGE seems to be suitable for molecular typing of LA-MRSA, WGM provides a much higher discriminatory power. Furthermore, whole genome mapping can provide a comparison with other maps within 2 days after the bacterial culture is received, making it suitable to investigate transmission events and outbreaks caused by LA-MRSA. © 2013 Bosch et al.

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