1887

Abstract

The unpredictable characteristics of meningococcal disease (MD) make outbreaks complicated to monitor and consequently lead to high levels of public anxiety. Traditional molecular techniques have been utilized in order to understand better the epidemiology of MD, but some have disadvantages such as being highly specialized and labour-intensive, with low reproducibility. Some of these problems have been overcome by using multilocus sequence typing (MLST). This technique exploits the unambiguous nature and electronic portability of nucleotide sequencing data for the characterization of micro-organisms. The need for enhanced surveillance of MD after the introduction of serogroup C conjugate vaccines means that it is important to gain typing information from the infecting organism in the absence of a culture isolate. Here, the application of MLST for the laboratory confirmation and characterization of directly from clinical samples is described. This involved using a newly designed set of primers that were complementary to nucleotide sequences external to the existing MLST primers already in use for culture-based MLST of meningococci. This combination has produced a highly sensitive procedure to allow the efficient genotypic characterization of meningococci directly from clinical samples.

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2003-06-01
2019-11-20
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