Evaluating the use of multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 as a routine public health tool in England

Byrne, Lisa, Elson, Richard, Dallman, Timothy J, Perry, Neil, Ashton, Philip, Wain, John, Adak, Goutam K, Grant, Kathie A and Jenkins, Claire (2014) Evaluating the use of multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 as a routine public health tool in England. PLoS One, 9 (1). ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) provides microbiological support for investigations of clusters of cases of infection with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O157. All confirmed STEC O157 isolated in England and submitted to the Gastrointestinal Bacteria Reference Unit (GBRU) during a six month period were typed using MLVA, with the aim of assessing the impact of this approach on epidemiological investigations. Of 539 cases investigated, 341 (76%) had unique (>2 single locus variants) MLVA profiles, 12% of profiles occurred more than once due to known household transmission and 12% of profiles occurred as part of 41 clusters, 21 of which were previously identified through routine public health investigation of cases. The remaining 20 clusters were not previously detected and STEC enhanced surveillance data for associated cases were retrospectively reviewed for epidemiological links including shared exposures, geography and/or time. Additional evidence of a link between cases was found in twelve clusters. Compared to phage typing, the number of sporadic cases was reduced from 69% to 41% and the diversity index for MLVA was 0.996 versus 0.782 for phage typing. Using MLVA generates more data on the spatial and temporal dispersion of cases, better defining the epidemiology of STEC infection than phage typing. The increased detection of clusters through MLVA typing highlights the challenges to health protection practices, providing a forerunner to the advent of whole genome sequencing as a diagnostic tool.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2014 Byrne 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.
Uncontrolled Keywords: england,escherichia coli o157,genetic linkage,minisatellite repeats,multilocus sequence typing,phylogeny,public health
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 16:48
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2020 23:33
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/50751
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085901

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