GW is the Principal Investigator of the funded
projects. PD98059 She coordinated the study and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.”
“Background Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positive, spore-forming, obligately anaerobic bacterium. It is the leading cause of nosocomial diarrhoea among patients undergoing antibiotic treatment [1, 2]. The severity of C. difficile-associated disease (CDAD) ranges from mild diarrhoea to pseudomembranous colitis, toxic megacolon, and intestinal perforation [3–6]. Mortality rates of CDAD reportedly range from 6 to 30% [5, 7, 8]. During the last decade, the incidence of CDAD has increased significantly in North America [9–12] and Europe [4, 8, 13, 14]. In the USA and Canada, this increase has been associated with the emergence of a novel, hypervirulent strain designated NAP1/027 [11, 15]. Strains with the same genotype and associated outbreaks have also been reported from several European countries [14, 16–18]. For infection control investigations and epidemiological studies, it is mandatory to track the emergence and spread of epidemic strains. For this purpose, appropriate genotyping methods are needed. The utility of a typing method will depend on its inter-laboratory reproducibility and data portability, its discriminatory power and concordance
of identified groupings with epidemiology, the temporal stability of the genetic markers investigated, Selleckchem GS-9973 and the universal typeability of isolates . Multilocus variable number of tandem repeats C59 datasheet analysis (MLVA) is the most discriminatory method presently Berzosertib mw available for typing C. difficile [20, 21]. Recently reported results suggested that the level of resolution achieved through MLVA may be highly useful for detecting epidemiological clusters of CDAD within and between hospitals [21, 22]. The genetic loci currently exploited for MLVA-typing of C. difficile accumulate variation so rapidly, however, that
longer-term relationships between isolates get obscured . It is therefore advisable – and has been a common practice – to combine MLVA with the analysis of more conserved genetic markers [20–23]. Most commonly applied approaches to genotyping C. difficile at present are DNA macrorestriction analysis (based on pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, mostly used in Canada and the USA [12, 15, 24]) and PCR ribotyping (in Europe [25–27]). These two methods yield largely concordant results [23, 27]. While DNA macrorestriction has slightly higher discriminatory power than PCR ribotyping, it is also more labour-intensive and time consuming [23, 27–29]. A major disadvantage of PCR ribotyping, DNA macrorestriction, and other band-based typing techniques (including restriction endonuclease analysis (REA) ) is the poor portability and interlaboratory comparability of the generated data.