Molecular typing is an important tool in surveillance and outbreak investigations Of human Salmonella infections. In this study, three molecular typing methods were used to investigate the discriminatory ability, reproducibility and the genetic relationship between 110 Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica isolates. A total of 25 serotypes were investigated that had been isolated from humans or veterinary sources in Denmark between 1995 and 2001. All isolates were genotyped by multilocus sequence typing (MLST), pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). When making genetic trees, all three methods resulted in similar clustering that often corresponded with serotype, although some serotypes displayed more diversity than others. Of the three techniques, MLST was the easiest to interpret and compare between laboratories. Unfortunately the seven housekeeping genes used in this MLST scheme lacked diversity and the ability to discriminate between isolates were higher with both PFGE and AFLP. The discriminatory power of AFLP and PFGE were similar but PFGE fingerprints were both easier to reproduce, interpret and less time-consuming to analyze when compared to AFLP. PFGE is the therefore the preferred molecular typing method for surveillance and outbreak investigations, whereas AFLP is most useful for local outbreak investigations.
Journal of Microbiological Methods, 2005, Vol 63, Issue 2, p. 173-184