Multilocus sequence typing of historical Burkholderia pseudomallei isolates collected in Southeast Asia from 1964 to 1967 provides insight into the epidemiology of melioidosis.J Clin Microbiol. 2006 Aug; 44(8):2951-62.JC
A collection of 207 historically relevant Burkholderia pseudomallei isolates was analyzed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The strain collection contains environmental isolates obtained from a geographical distribution survey of B. pseudomallei isolates in Thailand (1964 to 1967), as well as stock cultures and colony variants from the U.S. Army Medical Research Unit (Malaysia), the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research, and the Pasteur Institute (Vietnam). The 207 isolates of the collection were resolved into 80 sequence types (STs); 56 of these were novel. eBURST diagrams predict that the historical-collection STs segregate into three complexes when analyzed separately. When added to the 760 isolates and 365 STs of the B. pseudomallei MLST database, the historical-collection STs cluster significantly within the main complex of the eBURST diagram in an ancestral pattern and alter the B. pseudomallei "population snapshot." Differences in colony morphology among reference isolates were found not to affect the STs assigned, which were consistent with the original isolates. Australian ST84 is likely characteristic of B. pseudomallei isolates of Southeast Asia rather than Australia, since multiple environmental isolates from Thailand and Malaysia share this ST with the single Australian clinical isolate in the MLST database. Phylogenetic evidence is also provided suggesting that Australian isolates may not be distinct from those of Thailand, since ST60 is common to environmental isolates from both countries. MLST and eBURST are useful tools for the study of population biology and epidemiology, since they provide methods to elucidate new genetic relationships among bacterial isolates.