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Amplified Intergenic Locus Polymorphism as a Basis for Bacterial Typing of Listeria spp. and Escherichia coli

Somer, Lilach, Danin-Poleg, Yael, Diamant, Eran, Gur-Arie, Riva, Palti, Yniv, Kashi, Yechezkel
Applied and environmental microbiology 2005 v.71 no.6 pp. 3144-3152
Listeria, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, food pathogens, pathogen identification, genotype, genetic techniques and protocols, genetic polymorphism, loci, open reading frames, polymerase chain reaction, DNA primers, food microbiology
DNA-based methods are increasingly important for bacterial typing. The high number of polymorphic sites present among closely related bacterial genomes is the basis for the presented method. The method identifies multilocus genomic polymorphisms in intergenic regions termed AILP (amplified intergenic locus polymorphism). For each locus, a pair of unique PCR primers was designed to amplify an intergenic sequence from one open reading frame (ORF) to the adjacent ORF. Presence, absence, and size variation of the amplification products were identified and used as genetic markers for rapidly differentiating among strains. Polymorphism was evaluated using 18 AILP sites among 28 strains of Listeria monocytogenes and 6 strains of Listeria spp. and 30 AILP markers among 27 strains of Escherichia coli. Up to four alleles per locus were identified among Listeria strains, and up to six were identified among E. coli strains. In both species, more than half of the AILP sites revealed intraspecies polymorphism. The AILP data were applied to phylogenetic analysis among Listeria and E. coli strains. A clear distinction between L. monocytogenes and Listeria spp. was demonstrated. In addition, the method separated L. monocytogenes into the three known lineages and discriminated the most common virulent serotypic group, 4b. In E. coli, AILP analysis separated the known groups as well as the virulent O157:H7 isolates. These findings for both Listeria and E. coli are in agreement with other phylogenetic studies using molecular markers. The AILP method was found to be rapid, simple, reproducible, and a low-cost method for initial bacterial typing that could serve as a basis for epidemiological investigation.