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Development of Mycoplasma synoviae (MS) core genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) scheme

Ghanem, Mostafa, El-Gazzar, Mohamed
Veterinary microbiology 2018 v.218 pp. 84-89
Mycoplasma synoviae, genes, multilocus sequence typing, outbreak investigation, pathogens, phylogeny, poultry, single nucleotide polymorphism, virulence
Mycoplasma synoviae (MS) is a poultry pathogen with reported increased prevalence and virulence in recent years. MS strain identification is essential for prevention, control efforts and epidemiological outbreak investigations. Multiple multilocus based sequence typing schemes have been developed for MS, yet the resolution of these schemes could be limited for outbreak investigation. The cost of whole genome sequencing became close to that of sequencing the seven MLST targets; however, there is no standardized method for typing MS strains based on whole genome sequences. In this paper, we propose a core genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) scheme as a standardized and reproducible method for typing MS based whole genome sequences. A diverse set of 25 MS whole genome sequences were used to identify 302 core genome genes as cgMLST targets (35.5% of MS genome) and 44 whole genome sequences of MS isolates from six countries in four continents were used for typing applying this scheme. cgMLST based phylogenetic trees displayed a high degree of agreement with core genome SNP based analysis and available epidemiological information. cgMLST allowed evaluation of two conventional MLST schemes of MS. The high discriminatory power of cgMLST allowed differentiation between samples of the same conventional MLST type. cgMLST represents a standardized, accurate, highly discriminatory, and reproducible method for differentiation between MS isolates. Like conventional MLST, it provides stable and expandable nomenclature, allowing for comparing and sharing the typing results between different laboratories worldwide.