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Molecular characterization of campylobacter jejuni clones: a basis for epidemiologic investigation

Fox, Andrew J. and Dingle, Kate E. and Colles, Frances S. and Ure, Roisin and Wagenaar, Jaap A. and Duim, Birgitta and Bolton, Frederick J. and Wareing, David R.A. and Maiden, Martin C.J. (2002) Molecular characterization of campylobacter jejuni clones: a basis for epidemiologic investigation. Emerging infectious diseases, 8 (9). pp. 949-955. ISSN 1080-6059

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Abstract

A total of 814 isolates of the foodborne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni were characterized by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and analysis of the variation of two cell-surface components: the heat-stable (HS) serotyping antigen and the flagella protein FlaA short variable region (SVR). We identified 379 combinations of the MLST loci (sequence types) and 215 combinations of the cell-surface components among these isolates, which had been obtained from human disease, animals, food, and the environment. Despite this diversity, 748 (92%) of the isolates belonged to one of 17 clonal complexes, 6 of which contained many (318, 63%)of the human disease isolates. Several clonal complexes exhibited associations with isolation source or particular cell-surface components; however, the latter were poorly predictive of clonal complex. These data demonstrate that the clonal complex, as defined by MLST, is an epidemiologically relevant unit for both long and short-term investigations of C. jejuni epidemiology.

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