Comparative analysis of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis isolates from cattle, sheep and goats by short sequence repeat and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing

Iker Sevilla, Lingling Li, Alongkorn Amonsin, Joseba M. Garrido, Maria V. Geijo, Vivek Kapur, Ramón A. Juste

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34 Scopus citations


Background. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map) causes the chronic enteritis called paratuberculosis mainly in cattle, sheep and goats. Evidences that point out an association between Map and Crohn's Disease in humans are increasing. Strain differentiation among Map isolates has proved to be difficult and has limited the study of the molecular epidemiology of paratuberculosis. In order to asses the usefulness of the PCR based short sequence repeat (SSR) analysis of locus 1 and locus 8 in the epidemiological tracing of paratuberculosis strains we here compare for the first time the results of SSR and SnaBI-SpeI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing methods in a set of 268 Map isolates from different hosts (cattle, sheep, goats, bison, deer and wild boar). Results. A total of nineteen different multi-locus SSR (SSR1_SSR8) types were identified amongst the 268 isolates compared to the 37 multiplex profiles differentiated by the SnaBI-SpeI PFGE. SSR type 7_4 was the predominant genotype (51.2% of all isolates and 54.3% of cattle isolates), but combined with PFGE results the abundance of the most prevalent genotype (7_4&{2-1}) dropped down to 37.7%. SSR types 7_3 and 14_3 were significantly spread amongst isolates recovered from small ruminants. The comparison of SSR1_SSR8 and SnaBI-SpeI PFGE typing of these isolates has shown that both methods perform at similar discriminatory level. These were 0.691 and 0.693, respectively for SSR and PFGE as indicated Simpson's Index of Diversity, and 0.82 when calculated for combined SSR and PFGE genotypes. Overall, SSR1_SSR8 analysis seemed to detect higher levels of within-farm strain diversity and seemed to give higher year-related information. Combination of both typing methods revealed 20 multi-type farms out of the 33 bovine farms studied with more than one isolate. Conclusion. The particular SSR and PFGE typing approaches described here are in general agreement but they showed some discrepancies that might reflect differing evolutionary processes of Map strains. Both methods are able to reciprocally complement their results and neither should be replaced with the other if sufficient material and time is available. Overall, the results of our comparative analyses suggest that, based on current methodologies available, a combined approach that includes SSR and PFGE seems to provide the highest level of discrimination for Map strain typing with meaningful epidemiological information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number204
JournalBMC microbiology
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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