Molecular characterization of Cronobacter lipopolysaccharide O-antigen gene clusters and development of serotype-specific PCR assays.

Research paper by K G KG Jarvis, C J CJ Grim, A A AA Franco, G G Gopinath, V V Sathyamoorthy, L L Hu, J A JA Sadowski, C S CS Lee, B D BD Tall

Indexed on: 03 May '11Published on: 03 May '11Published in: Applied and environmental microbiology


Cronobacter (formerly Enterobacter sakazakii) is a recently defined genus consisting of six species, C. sakazakii, C. malonaticus, C. dublinensis, C. muytjensii, C. turicensis, and Cronobacter genomospecies 1. In this study, MboII restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) patterns of O-antigen gene clusters, located between galF and gnd, were used to identify serotypes in Cronobacter spp. Seven O-antigen RFLP clusters were generated, including three C. sakazakii clusters, previously identified as serotypes O1, O2, and O3. The O-antigen regions of six strains with unique RFLP patterns, including two C. sakazakii strains, two C. malonaticus strains, one C. turicensis strain, and one C. muytjensii strain, revealed three O-antigen gene clusters shared among Cronobacter species. PCR assays were developed, targeting the wzx O-antigen polymerase gene, and used to screen 231 Cronobacter strains to determine the frequency of these newly identified serotypes.

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