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Multilocus sequence typing and repetitive-sequence-based PCR (DiversiLab) for molecular epidemiological characterization ofPropionibacterium acnesisolates of heterogeneous origin

DOI: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2012.04.015
  • Propionibacterium Acnes
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing (Mlst)
  • Diversilab
  • Discrimination Index
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Propionibacterium acnes is a gram-positive bacillus predominantly found on the skin. Although it is considered an opportunistic pathogen it is also been associated with severe infections. Some specific P. acnes subtypes are hypothesized to be more prone to cause infection than others. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the ability to discriminate between P. acnes isolates of a refined multilocus sequence typing (MLST) method and a genotyping method, DiversiLab, based on repetitive-sequence-PCR technology. The MLST and DiversiLab analysis were performed on 29 P. acnes isolates of diverse origins; orthopedic implant infections, deep infections following cardiothoracic surgery, skin, and isolates from perioperative tissue samples from prostate cancer. Subtyping was based on recA, tly, and Tc12S sequences. The MLST analysis identified 23 sequence types and displayed a superior ability to discriminate P. acnes isolates compared to DiversiLab and the subtyping. The highest discriminatory index was found when using seven genes. DiversiLab was better able to differentiate the isolates compared to the MLST clonal complexes of sequence types. Our results suggest that DiversiLab can be useful as a rapid typing tool for initial discrimination of P. acnes isolates. When better discrimination is required, such as for investigations of the heterogeneity of P. acnes isolates and its involvement in different pathogenic processes, the present MLST protocol is valuable.

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