Development of a rapid multiplex PCR assay to genotype pasteurella multocida strains by use of the lipopolysaccharide outer core biosynthesis locus

Marina Harper, Marietta John, Conny Turni, Mark L Edmunds, Frank St Michael, Ben Adler, Patrick J Blackall, Andrew D Cox, John Dallas Boyce

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Pasteurella multocida is a Gram-negative bacterial pathogen that is the causative agent of a wide range of diseases in many animal species, including humans. A widely used method for differentiation of P. multocida strains involves the Heddleston serotyping scheme. This scheme was developed in the early 1970s and classifies P. multocida strains into 16 somatic or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) serovars using an agar gel diffusion precipitin test. However, this gel diffusion assay is problematic, with difficulties reported in accuracy, reproducibility, and the sourcing of quality serovar-specific antisera. Using our knowledge of the genetics of LPS biosynthesis in P. multocida, we have developed a multiplex PCR (mPCR) that is able to differentiate strains based on the genetic organization of the LPS outer core biosynthesis loci. The accuracy of the LPS-mPCR was compared with classical Heddleston serotyping using LPS compositional data as the gold standard. The LPS-mPCR correctly typed 57 of 58 isolates; Heddleston serotyping was able to correctly and unambiguously type only 20 of the 58 isolates. We conclude that our LPS-mPCR is a highly accurate LPS genotyping method that should replace the Heddleston serotyping scheme for the classification of P. multocida strains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477 - 485
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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